Campus News

Lethbridge College’s efforts to support students through difficult times received a $25,000 boost from the Bell Let’s Talk Post-Secondary Fund.

The college is one of 123 post-secondary institutions across Canada to receive money from the new fund to support implementation of the National Standard of Canada for Mental Health and Well-Being for Post-Secondary Students. This is the second time Bell Let’s Talk has provided grant support to Lethbridge College. In 2016, a grant supported the launch of Mental Health First Aid training at LC.

The new grant will support the college’s Assessment and Care Team (ACT) and the Student Support Specialist position in Wellness Services. ACT and the Student Support Specialist provide a range of individualized supports and interventions for students experiencing academic and non-academic challenges. The team includes representation from Student Affairs, Wellness Services, Residence and Student Conduct, Emergency Management, Student Success and Accessibility Services, and will bring in other internal and external parties depending on the individual student’s needs.

This intervention team is a proactive way to coordinate services to students, not only to address their immediate concerns, but to also consider a student’s overall wellbeing. The team also offers support to faculty to maintain boundaries when supporting students with intensive needs.

The ACT team started in fall 2020. The team triages cases reported through the Guardian Reporting system or brought to the team’s attention through other referrals.

So far, there have been:

  • 796 early alerts such as concerns about academic performance, attendance, motivation or behaviour;
  • 103 reports of concerns for a student’s well-being including mental health, basic needs and risk of self-harm;
  • 81 reports concerning student conduct in Residence; and
  • 20 cases of non-academic misconduct.

The Student Support Specialist has worked with 190 students to address their mental health concerns this past year.

“Bell is committed to supporting student mental health and we were pleased to see so many post-secondary institutions apply for funding – such a great response in fact that we increased total funding for the initiative by almost 25% to more than $3 million,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk. “These grants will help colleges and universities across the country accelerate the important work they’re doing to support student mental health and well-being. We look forward to building on their progress with more funding later this spring for schools implementing new initiatives aligned with the standard.”

Bell Let’s Talk will launch a second phase of the Post-Secondary Fund in June.

The National Standard of Canada for Mental Health and Well-Being for Post-Secondary Students provides a set of guidelines to help increase awareness, reduce stigma, improve life and resiliency skills, and create a healthier and safer educational environment overall. Bell Let’s Talk funding helped enable the creation of the standard, led by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) in partnership with the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).