University of Saskatchewan Awarded Collaborations for Change Seed Grant  

Collaborations for Change is thrilled to announce the University of Saskatchewan (USask) as the 2021 recipient of the Collaborations for Change Seed Grant. This competitive grant is awarded to projects with the potential to improve student mental health at Canadian post-secondary institutions that demonstrate commitments to meaningful collaboration and evaluative rigour. 

The awarded project, “Supporting the Mental Health of Students of Colour and Indigenous Students”, seeks to improve the accessibility of mental health programs and services for underserved USask students. Through quality improvement efforts of an ongoing and successful peer health outreach program, USask identified the need for greater mental health and wellbeing supports specifically for international, Indigenous, and historically marginalized students. In response to this gap, the project aims to understand the experiences, needs, and impacts of racism on the help-seeking behaviours of international students, students of colour, and Indigenous students with the goal to develop more appropriate outreach efforts and services for these groups. Funds from this grant will be used to support students as they explore ways to provide mental wellbeing support using methods and messaging that resonate with students from these communities. A diverse advisory team, composed of both students and mental health counsellors, will provide guidance and direction. Upon completion, master’s students enrolled in a Program Planning and Evaluation course at USask’s School of Public Health will evaluate the program. 

Further details about the project will be shared in an upcoming webinar on April 27, 2022, where USask will be presenting their funded project. Consistent with the collaborative and student-centered nature of the project, participants can expect to hear from staff, counsellors, and peer health volunteers on the impetus of the project, its status, and future directions. 

The Collaborations for Change Seed Grant is an initiative of the Collaborations for Change Conference, a partnership between the Best Practices Network in Higher Education and the University of Calgary with support from the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services (CACUSS). The Conference aims to bridge research and practice on post-secondary student mental health through engaging campus staff, clinicians, researchers, and students.