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Campus Mental Health Strategy introduces grants to fund mental health initiatives on campus

By Scott Strasser, April 13 2017 —

As part of the Campus Mental Health Strategy (CMHS), the University of Calgary will offer grants of up to $10,000 for initiatives related to improving mental health.

Anyone from the U of C community can apply for the grants, including individuals, groups, student clubs and other organizations. Like the Quality Money program, applicants must demonstrate how their project is in line with the CMHS’ focuses. The deadline to submit proposals is April 30 at midnight.

U of C psychology professor and CMHS director Andrew Szeto said the grants will provide funding for groups and individuals who have ideas on how to improve mental health on campus.

“We recognize there are a lot of students, faculty, staff and postdoctoral fellows who are interested and passionate about mental health, but they might lack the resources to help them implement their good ideas and institute their passion and drive for this,” Szeto said.  

The program was first announced on March 7. While no one has applied for grants as of April 13, Szeto said he’s heard interest from multiple people.

“I’m hearing lots of chatter from all groups, including students, faculty, staff and postdoctoral fellows,” he said. “There are people currently thinking of applying, if not already in the process of applying.”

Students’ Union vice-president student life Patrick Ma is in favour of the program. Ma sits on the Mental Health Implementation Advisory committee, which was formed to help carry out the CMHS’ goals.

“I think one of the main focuses was getting at the grassroots level,” Ma said. “These grassroots initiatives are usually more in tune with student needs, the student body and what they see as being important. Support from the CMHS in this way is really beneficial to the campus community.”

Ma said he sees many ways the grants could benefit students.

“I could see projects coming out of the SU Wellness Centre. [It] would be amazing to see some club engagement. I’m even thinking of a few, myself,” he said.

Funding for the grant program comes from the U of C. According to Szeto, the total amount allocated to the program will be revealed in June.

The CMHS launched in December 2015. The strategy outlines 28 recommendations under six strategic focuses that aim to improve the mental health and well-being of students, staff and faculty at the U of C.

The application form can be found here.

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