University life is a process that can be very positive and rewarding. But it can also present challenges. There has been an increasing awareness of the challenges that many students in maintaining good mental health.
Earlier this year, Redeemer, along with McMaster University and Mohawk College, were awarded a grant from the Hamilton Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) to fund a mobile mental health team. Co-ordinated through the Youth Wellness Centre, a program of St. Joe’s Healthcare Hamilton, the team will give Redeemer students access to mental health professional services on campus one half day per week.
“Redeemer’s Student Life staff provides support services for students in a number of different areas,” noted Dr. Karen Cornies, Dean of Students. “This initiative allows us to provide them with access to some specialized care.”
The mobile mental health unit includes a Youth Specialist and a Registered Nurse from St. Joseph’s Early Intervention Care program. There is also an Addictions Specialist from Alternatives for Youth, and a Family Educator from the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario.
Redeemer offers pastoral, personal and other support programs, all within a Christian framework. Students are eligible, for instance, to access free, anonymous, confidential, professional counselling services from the Shalem Mental Health Network. Chaplains are available to address spiritual concerns, and students can access many community programs as well.
The mobile mental health team is so helpful because it is designed to serve university-aged students and their particular concerns. “I’m thrilled that Redeemer has been included in this initiative and look forward to the good fruit that it will bear,” said Dr. Cornies.