February 23, 2023

The Government of Canada invests nearly $4M to support mental health of creative arts, design students  

AMPD to receive $200,000 over three years to adapt and implement mindfulness practices for students, faculty and staff.  

On February 21, the Public Health Agency of Canada announced the Government of Canada’s nearly $4 million investment in support of post-secondary student mental health through The Mindful Campus Initiative. The funding will enhance students’ coping and resilience skills and create a supportive environment where emerging creative artists and designers, including those from marginalized communities, flourish.   

“Our government recognizes that the pandemic has greatly added to the pre-existing mental health and substance use challenges many students and young people face. This is especially true for marginalized and racialized young adults,” says the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, and Associate Minister of Health.  

A partnership between The York University School of Arts, Media, Performance and Design (AMPD), Concordia’s Faculty of Fine Arts, Nova Scotia College of Art & Design University, and Seneca’s School of Creative Arts and Animation will deliver the initiative led by OCAD University.  

AMPD will receive $200,000 over three years to adapt and implement mindfulness practices for students, faculty and staff across the School. The funding will support a comprehensive set of mental health promotion materials linked to a peer support network and various mindfulness training and practice programs.  

“AMPD focuses on the whole person. We provide students with the tools to support their physical and mental wellbeing. Students must develop their technique alongside wellness strategies to reach and sustain their creative potential,” said Dr. Sarah Bay-Cheng, Dean, AMPD. “We are pleased to partner with OCAD on this investment that brings wellness into the core of our curriculums. We look forward to developing existing initiatives and expanding our wellness mandate into new facets of the School.”  

At AMPD, the investment will expand programs like Music for Health & Wellness. Through community-based projects, AMPD hopes to promote mental health to students in a way that builds life-long coping and resilience skills for use while in school and beyond graduation.