There are now more mental health supports for students at GPRC. The government of Alberta has given the college a $375,000 grant to expand their mental health services and hire trained professionals. Minister of Advanced Education Marlin Schmidt says he’s heard that the lack of services has been affecting students all across the province.
“Data shows that a shocking number of students feel overwhelmed at university or college. They struggle with depression, anxiety and attempted suicide is a really significant problem. We needed to take action and we did.”
The college has now hired a mental health team that includes Registered Psychologist Dr. Katie Stabb and two trained counsellors who hold one on one sessions with students. Stabb says that before the grant, there really was no mental health services available to students.
“There really wasn’t any mental health services on campus aside from the peer councilling program which has been run by a faculty member for quite some time. But they really wanted to expand that to include trained mental health professionals to kind of build in those services.”
Stabb says that since the team started back in April of last year, there have been 77 counsellor appointments made at GPRC and 40 at their Fairview campus. She says it’s important to have these services available for students because they sometimes have a hard time getting help in the community.
“We feel that it’s really important to have those services on campus because it can be hard as a student to access resources in the community with wait lists and things like that. By building it into the campus community we can serve those needs better and help our students succeed.
Students wanting to access any of the services offered can contact the school’s mental health counsellors by phone or email which can be found in the on-campus directory.