By Tina Shaygan, April 6 2018 —
Campus Mental Health Strategy Grants are now open to students, staff and faculty members for projects addressing mental health on campus.
According to Andrew Szeto, the director of Campus Mental Health Strategy, the grants intend to engage the broader campus community with mental health initiatives.
“I know students have a lot of great ideas,” Szeto said. “They want to be involved and engaged but lack that little bit of resource or funding to make it happen.”
Applications must adhere to one or more of the recommendations of the Mental Health Strategy and are evaluated by an adjudication committee that includes stakeholders from across campus. The grants currently fund seven projects including the Body Project and the ‘Negotiating the Unspoken Component of Mental Health Disclosure: A Workshop for Students’ initiative. These workshops, initiated by two graduate students, intend to open up the conversation between graduate students and their supervisors regarding mental health.
“Often, students don’t talk about [mental health issues] to their supervisors and it could lead to misunderstanding and incorrect perceptions,” Szeto said.
Szeto added that projects addressing substance abuse and diversity are on his radar for the future and said he encourages students with ideas regarding these topics to apply for the available grants.
“Cannabis is an important topic coming up right now with the legalization,” he said. “Issues of diversity are [also] important. We have a lot of different groups on campus, so how do we better meet their mental health needs?”
Szeto added that he encourages those applying to bring their own perspective and experiences, but also to consult staff or professors.
“Students know best,” he said. “[I would encourage them] to draw from their experiences and knowledge of mental health and put that into their project. But also gather feedback and use it to make the best application that they can.”
Szeto added that another topic he is currently focused on is the connection between mental health and physical spaces.
“I really want to look at spaces and how they affect mental health,” he said. “Whether that’d be study spaces and how we improve those or how we create more spaces for connection for students to come together.”
The deadline to apply is April 30. Application forms can be accessed online.