Ontario pledges $12M for post-secondary mental health projects | Star

Ontario pledges $12M for post-secondary mental health projects | Toronto Star

The Ontario government has pledged $12 million over two years to fund mental health projects for students on college and university campuses.
“Our most important responsibility is to ensure the safety and well-being of our students … but we know a staggering 70 per cent of mental health and addiction problems begin when people are young,” said MPP Reza Moridi, Ontario’s minister of training, colleges and universities. He made the announcement Friday, World Mental Health Day, at the University of Toronto.
The move extends the province’s Mental Health Innovation Fund, which has sponsored 20 projects since being launched in 2012, from training of campus staff to recognize the signs of stress, to websites that steer students to help.
In seeking proposals from colleges and universities, Moridi said the ministry will favour projects that serve First Nations and M├ętis students, students with addictions and students arriving at higher learning from high school. “We’re particularly pleased at the focus on aboriginal students, because the majority of aboriginal students in post-secondary go to colleges,” said Rob Savage, spokesperson for Colleges Ontario.
The province has spent $9 million a year since 2012 on mental health support on campus, of which $6 million a year goes to projects suggested by post-secondary institutions and community partners.
The U of T has launched a project with York University and Ryerson that provides support for students who are hospitalized for mental health issues and then face a return to campus.
“Too often these students were released and came back to school with no help — sometimes we would not even know why they had gone — and now, we can go to the hospital and begin to connect them with supports from academic program counseling to maybe a refund, which they might not have thought of,” said Lucy Fromowitz, the U of T’s assistant vice-president of student life..
Obviously stresses on students can be overwhelming, and crippling stigmas still exists about mental health issues, but there is a groundswell of initiatives driven by students to provide support,” said U of T student Kaleem Hawa, who is on a campus committee looking into student mental health.
The government also funds a free 24-hour helpline for post-secondary students called Good2Talk, which serves some 1,000 students a month, said Moridi.


Bob Rae, "Ring of Fire", Wed. Nov 12, Saul Goldstein Memorial Lecture - Woodsworth College

Annual Saul Goldstein Memorial Lecture - Woodsworth College - University of Toronto

On November 12th, 2014 Bob Rae will be discussing proposed mining projects in Ontario's far north - dubbed the Ring of Fire.  Mr. Rae is the chief negotiator for native groups in the area.
The Ring of Fire encompasses a 5,000-square-kilometre crescent of vast deposits of chromite, nickel, copper, zinc and gold thought to be worth as much as $50-billion during the commodity boom, according to a recent Globe & Mail article.

These projects have the potential to drive economic development in Ontario and could be an economic shift for First Nations in the area.  However, Mr. Rae cautions that the money from this massive proposed mineral project can't be counted on to fix northern community's woes. The Ontario Government is keen for these projects to go ahead.

Rae claims that the Ring of Fire is not the magic solution to poverty, because we need to get people ready for jobs and for work first, "we've got to create the conditions under which people are able to participate in the workforce." Lately there has been some indication that due to falling commodity prices, the projects may not move ahead as fast as the Government of Ontario would like.

Bob Rae will speak about all of these issues at the upcoming Annual Saul Goldstein Lecture, hosted by Woodsworth College.

Event details:
Date: Wednesday, November 12th, 2014
Time: 4 - 6pm
Venue: Kruger Hall Commons, Woodsworth College, 119 St. George St.
Reception follows lecture, all are welcome to this FREE public lecture
You can register for this event here!