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U of R receives boost to student mental health services from Bell Let’s Talk grant

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: May 3, 2021 5:00 a.m.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Counselling Services at the University of Regina has facilitated more than 3,000 e-counselling sessions.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Counselling Services at the University of Regina has facilitated more than 3,000 e-counselling sessions. Photos: stock

The University of Regina has received a $25,000 grant from the Bell Let’s Talk Post-Secondary Fund for projects that will support the implementation of the National Standard of Canada for Mental Health and Well-Being for Post-Secondary Students. The University of Regina uses the Standard – a set of flexible, voluntary guidelines to help post-secondary institutions support the mental health and well-being of their students – as a guide for its mental health services and supports for students. 

New mental health peer support program and staff training                                   

Rob McCaffrey, Mental Health Advisor for Health, Safety and Wellness, says the grant will be used for new mental health programming for students throughout the campus. The first project is a peer-support program where trained peer support mentors will be available on a drop-in basis to provide free, non-judgmental, one-on-one conversations for peers who may need support. The funds will also be used for staff training, so that programs such as The Inquiring Mind Post-Secondary, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, and safeTALK will be available to students. 

“We are proud to support Bell Let’s Talk Day every year, it is a great opportunity to reinforce the University of Regina’s commitment to mental wellness and to increase awareness of the mental health supports we have available to students,” says McCaffrey. “The funding we have received allows us to collaborate with other areas of the campus and provide additional mental wellness programs and workshops to our students.” 

Virtual counselling services for students

The University of Regina’s Counselling Services has pivoted during the pandemic to continue to reach out to students through virtual counselling sessions. In the last year Counselling Services has conducted over 3,000 e-counselling sessions with students. Students who are interested in booking an e-counselling session can visit the Counselling Services web page.

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Students can visit the Mental Wellness Hub
to connect to a variety of services and
supports available to them.

Students have found this virtual counselling option helpful to them.

“While I was at first reluctant to try remote counselling, I have had many positive results from the sessions I have attended,” said one University of Regina student athlete, who wished to remain anonymous.

“Mental illness is a battle many people, including myself, fight every day and it can come with a variety of symptoms that are both mental and physical. Receiving help for mental health challenges is crucial for recovery,” the student added.

Mindful Monday Series

In the Winter semester, Health, Safety and Wellness, along with Student Success, also organized the Mindful Mondays series for students, faculty, and staff. The online program series was aimed at providing resources and tools to support personal mental wellness. Each session introduced various mindfulness practices and consisted of a 20-minute information discussion, followed by 25 minutes of applied mindfulness, and finished with a debrief of the session. The sessions were very well attended with over 500 total attendees at the six sessions for students, and over 500 total attendees at the six sessions for faculty and staff.

Mental Wellness Hub

Any students who may be looking for available mental wellness supports or needing to access mental health services can visit the Mental Wellness Hub. The Hub is a one-stop digital resource for mental wellness support that connects students, faculty and staff to a variety of services and supports available to them, including Counselling Services, peer support groups, links to external partners/services, and emergency assistance details.

May 3 to 9 is the 70th annual Canadian Mental Health Association’s Mental Health Week

The University of Regina has committed to creating a healthy campus community and learning environment in its 2020-25 strategic plan All Our Relations, or Kahkiyaw kiwȃhkomȃkȃninawak in Cree. Well-being and Belonging is one of the five areas of focus in the strategic plan, and includes objectives related to strengthening the University’s commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Healthy Living, and Mental Health Literacy and Research.  

Related

The University of Regina reinforces its commitment to mental wellness on Bell Let’s Talk Day

New Mental Wellness Hub a one-stop digital resource for mental wellness support

Well-being and Belonging: U of R’s 2020-2025 Strategic Plan Series, Part 4 of 6