A new pilot project has been launched by North Island College to provide mental health support for students in the trade sector.
The project comes following a 2022 BC Coroners Service report, which found that more than half of employees who have died due to overdose in the province worked in the trades.
The college received financial support for the project from the Bell Let’s Talk post-secondary fund, with the goal of providing support for post-secondary mental health programs.
Trades and technology dean Cheryl O’Connell says the trades sector is seeing an opportunity to recognize the health and well-being of students.
“Our goal is to offer self-directed support and resources of value to establish and maintain a strong foundation of good mental health practices as students pursue their training and enter the sector,” says O’Connell.
Along with a facilitator dedicated to being a trusted contact for students who need support, the project will also focus on building a support network among the students, in the hopes of them providing support for each other while working in the sector.
As of today, Sierra Gale has been hired as healthy students liaison, with the college adding that she will be connecting with students, staff, and faculty to develop a new approach strategy.
This project is set to run for two years.