On Monday, November 9, the Queen’s University Faculty of Health Sciences held a special Zoom presentation to announce a generous mental health gift made by the Mach-Gaensslen Foundation. The donation will fund a research project called “Student Mental Health – From Evidence to Action” and will address many of the identified mental health needs of the diverse Canadian university student population; incorporating accessible, tailored, and digitally-supported early intervention and prevention initiatives. Furthermore, the content of this research project could and might be adapted at other universities across Canada.
Dr. Anne Duffy is the principal investigator of this multidisciplinary multi-site grant from the Mach Gaensslen Foundation and outlined the three avenues the funding will be used in: (1) an engaging online for credit undergraduate elective mental health literacy course called “the science of well-being, mental health and resiliency”; (2) a platform of digital self-guided well-being resources developed by researchers affiliated with Oxford University to improve well-being and support healthy adaptive coping; and (3) a digitally-enhanced care pathway app developed by researchers with Oxford University intended for help-seeking students with anxiety and depressive symptoms. Dr. Duffy said the gift “represents a pivotal opportunity to partner with students and interdisciplinary experts to develop and evaluate evidence-based initiatives to support student mental health across the spectrum of need and for all students including those from potentially disadvantaged subgroups.” She also said the project “represents a global partnership and will advance an integrated model of student mental health support and care that is scalable and sustainable-able to be adapted across universities in Canada and beyond.”