Through the Meighen Centre and student wellness staff, Mount Allison introduced a new program to assist students in navigating mental health and wellness resources this fall. Adeptly named Navigate MtA, the resource seeks to help students, as well as faculty and staff, navigate mental health and wellness information and initiatives at the University and in the community. The new resource was made possible through generous funding to the Meighen Centre for peer mental health supports from the Windsor Foundation.
“Navigate MtA is intended to encourage help-seeking behaviour by educating students about the wellness resources available on campus and in the wider region. University is a tough time for many, especially in these past few months,” says Anne Comfort, Acting Vice-President, International and Student Affairs. “We want to ensure our students are informed about and using the services available to them and taking care of their mental health. The new guide is a living document, there will be changes especially as we work through the pandemic.”
The Navigate MtA guide can be found at https://www.mta.ca/mentalhealth/
When the pandemic began in March 2020, both the Wellness Centre and Meighen Centre moved all their services to virtual formats including academic support, counselling, mental health programming and resources, and medical referrals and appointments. The Centres have continued to offer their full slate of services to students virtually throughout this academic year, incorporating additional COVID-19 friendly programming such as wellness walks and the Mindful Mentors student program, a branch of Navigate MtA.
Maggie Brewer, Mount Allison’s Mental Health and Harms Reduction Educator led the initiative, in collaboration with students, including a summer Mental Health intern Nico Deagle, who worked researching and compiling the resource and training tools for students with Brewer over the summer.
“Navigate MtA includes several Mindful Mentors — students who are trained peer supports on campus, and help navigate, educate, and promote student wellness at Mount A,” explains Brewer. “This is an important feature of our programming, students want to hear from and get support from their peers. This is something we know from student feedback from several student groups and individuals on campus and one of the reasons we focused on providing training for these students.”
Julia Bedell is one of Mount Allison’s Mindful Mentors in the Navigate MtA program.
“I have been working collaboratively with team members through the Wellness Centre and Meighen Centre for over two years now, creating Navigate MtA and I am so excited about our launch this fall,” says Bedell. “With the tools provided from our program, I believe that students will gain a better understanding of their own mental health, and know all of the many resources available to help them succeed!”
“This is an exciting time for mental health initiatives, but also an uncertain one,” says Brewer. “We are all navigating this pandemic together. Our focus will continue to be working with our students directly and collaboratively to understand and respond to their mental health programming needs.”
The guide is available at: https://www.mta.ca/mentalhealth/ and more information can be found by following the Navigate Mt A team @naviagatemta (FB and Instagram) or by e-mailing email@example.com