Southeast College has announced they'll be working on new mental health support students following a donation through the Government of Canada's Community Services Recovery Fund.

The donation, totaling $51,320 was given through the United Way Centraid, to establish a pilot project in the southeast.

Applied Research Lead Officer Tanya Andrist details some of the background for their plan.

"The project goes until the end of this school year, so the pilot project was approved for this school year, and in early September, we secured the contract with our mental health counselor and she has spent the last few weeks developing the programming and the processes for the college. She is an ideal candidate and we are so thrilled to have this program now underway." 

The support comes as the college is seeing more students drop out due to mental health problems, according to Executive Director of Communication and Strategic Enrolment Sheena Onrait.

"There's a reason why we researched finding funding for mental health supports within Southeast College, and that was because we've seen within the last couple of years we've seen definitely a recent uptake in the number of students that weren't able to continue their programming with us. It didn't matter what kind of programming, but weren't able to continue with their programming with us because of a high need for mental health services."

"It was just something that we weren't able to provide. Through the application and through the grant funding, we were then able to provide on-site mental health services for both our students and our staff as well. So it's a traveling position and our mental health counselor is able to travel to all of our programs. In all of our locations and so really providing that really robust service to Southeast Saskatchewan as a whole."

United Way Estevan Executive Director Heidi Heisselink says that the funding was bolstered even further by the federal government.

"CSRF is a federally funded program. They used the United Way Centraid to distribute the funds. So they gave us a certain amount of funding to be able to give to whoever applied. We ended up having two applicants and both of them were very good, we were very pleased to be able to provide funds to Southeast College, we needed to up that funding a little bit, and the United Way Centraid Canada was able to give us a little extra money so that we could fully fund the program."

The college says more details on the program will be released in the future.

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