Ontario is supporting a new project at Trent University that will improve student access to high-quality mental health services and help ensure that students in the Peterborough area get the right care, at the right time, in the right place.
The Trent University project, the Summer Aboriginal Student Transition Program, will be developed in partnership with Fleming College, Hiawatha First Nation, Curve Lake First Nation and Niijkiwendidaa Anishnaabekwewag Services Circle. Starting in summer 2015, the on-campus summer program will help students transition from high school to postsecondary education.
“Trent University prides itself on being a leader and innovator in Indigenous education so it is fitting that we are launching this important new program with our partners in the region,” said Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor of Trent. “This grant will enable Trent to build a program focused on identifying individual and cultural strengths that lead to success and personal well-being for generations of future students.”
Biishkaa (Ojibway for “rise up”) will take place during the three weeks before the start of university and college classes. Through the program, at-risk Aboriginal students from Trent University and Fleming College (starting in the second year of the project), will have the opportunity to create mutually supportive relationships with each other and with upper-year Aboriginal student mentors. The program also will feature Indigenous knowledge, skills-building, individual success planning, Elders’ teaching, and living on the land.
The Summer Aboriginal Student Transition Program is one of twelve new projects receiving support from Ontario as part of the third round of the Mental Health Innovation Fund. These new projects focus on First Nation and Métis students, students with addiction issues, and students with mental health or addiction issues who are transitioning from secondary to postsecondary studies.
“It’s critical that students have access to a wide range of mental health services as they pursue a postsecondary education. Our Mental Health and Addictions Strategy is about providing faster, easier access to mental health services for young people who need them, and I’m thrilled that Trent University is receiving support for a new project that will benefit students in the Peterborough area for years to come,” said the Honourable Jeff Leal, MPP for Peterborough, who was at Trent on January 16 to announce the news.
Posted on Friday, January 16, 2015.