January 28, 2019 4:12 pm
Updated: January 28, 2019 5:54 pm

McGill creates new hub for mental-health and wellness services

WATCH: McGill University will soon inaugurate a new health and wellness centre for students. The university says the new dedicated space is desperately needed to help students deal with mental health issues. As Global's Felicia Parrillo explains, the hub will be up and running by the summer.

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The plans for a new wellness hub at McGill University are ambitious and highly anticipated. Soon, the Rossy Student Wellness Hub will provide a space for students to access mental-health services.

“Universities around the world are recognizing the importance of providing more mental-health services to our students and of course, McGill is no different,” said McGill principal and vice-chancellor Suzanne Fortier.

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McGill announced the $14-million project on Monday, which is coming to life with the help of the privately run, Montreal-based Rossy Foundation.

The Student Wellness Hub in McGill’s Brown building on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019.

David Sedell/Global News

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The new hub will integrate existing campus services into one space, creating a one-stop shop for all health-related resources.

“They will no longer need to navigate between different units,” said hub director Vera Romano. “They don’t have to ask themselves: ‘Do I have to go to counselling? Do I have to go to mental health, psychiatry or health?’ They don’t even have to have a full sense of what they need.”

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The school says last year alone, around 6,000 students accessed its counselling services, and the staff say that number continues to grow.

“The 6,000 from last year is an increase over the year before and we know this year again, there will be an additional increase,” said Martine Gauthier, student services’ executive director.

“The rising rates of anxiety and low moods — depression — that’s what we’re seeing the most of in our students.”

McGill students, from undergraduates to graduates, couldn’t agree more, saying the hub is badly needed.

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“In this kind of competitive environment, you’ll often hear, and I’ve even said this before. One of my peers will say, ‘I just worked a 10-hour day,’ and I’ll be like, ‘I’m coming off a 12-hour workday,’ and you feel a bit proud of it, but then you think about it and I’m like, ‘I’m being proud that I’m working myself dry,'” said Jennifer Chen, a McGill PhD student.

In addition to the Rossy hub, McGill is also setting up a virtual hub which will act as a portal for online health-and-wellness information for students.

Both the virtual and the physical hub are expected to open this summer, with an official launch in the fall.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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