Student-led projects address mental health concerns in communities across Canada

Thursday, November 29, 2018 Mental Health News
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GUELPH, ON, Nov. 29, 2018 /CNW/ - The Co-operators has partnered with Enactus Canada to fund student projects focused on

youth mental health.  Over the 2018-19 academic year, a total of $45,000 will be shared among 18 student-led projects from Canadian universities and colleges. Projects are also supported by representatives from The Co-operators
who will act as project advisors.

"We're proud to be the first Enactus partner to focus specifically on mental health," said Barbara Turley-McIntyre, vice president, sustainability and citizenship at The Co-operators. "Engaging young people in finding holistic solutions to complex challenges like mental wellbeing and destigmatizing mental illness is an important part of our commitment to build healthier, more resilient Canadian communities."

The Co-operators Youth Mental Health Project Accelerator is designed to empower Enactus teams with the resources needed to identify, create and deliver projects that help reduce the number of youth with mental health concerns and improve the resiliency of young people.

Example projects include:

At the College of the North Atlantic in Clarenville, Newfoundland, still grieving the recent loss of a young community member to mental illness, students will establish an evening drop-in center to improve social inclusion for young people with a variety of activities and programs like yoga, art, nutrition, emotional support animals and counselling services. The program includes a budget for taxi fare to make it easier for participants since Clarenville doesn't have buses. 

At Humber College in Toronto, a project team will create a safe space for young newcomers to Canada (ages 18-25) and provide group sessions, one-on-one consulting and meditation sessions. Young newcomers likely experience significant stress, often away from their loved ones and support systems. The program could accommodate as many as 1,000 newcomers in its first year.

Students at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC will partner with local mental health organizations to expand its On Your Own program for at-risk youth to include mental health awareness along with budgeting, cooking and healthy living programs.

At the University of Alberta and MacEwan University in Edmonton, students will expand a financial literacy program to university students and will also expand the curriculum to cover mental health topics. Improving young people's financial literacy is expected to reduce their stress and improve their overall mental health.

"We're grateful for the focus on mental health that The Co-operators has brought to our program," said Nicole Almond, President of Enactus Canada. "These student-led projects demonstrate a multi-faceted approach and will leverage the expertise of local organizations."

About Enactus Canada Enactus Canada, a national charity and the country's largest post-secondary experiential learning platform, is shaping entrepreneurial leaders who are passionate about advancing the economic, social and environmental health of Canada. Guided by academic advisors and business experts, more than 3,498 post-secondary students led 275 community empowerment projects and business ventures last year in communities coast to coast, positively impacting over 28,000 lives. 

As a global network of 36 countries, Enactus uses the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better, more sustainable world. For more information, visit enactus.ca.

About The Co-operators:The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian co-operative with more than $42.5 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies, it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt and Corporate Knights' Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada. For more information, visit www.cooperators.ca

 

SOURCE The Co-operators



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