News & Updates

Lack of Mental Health Support Funding Disappoints Athabasca University Students

The Athabasca University Graduate Students’ Association and the Athabasca University Students’ Union are calling on the Government of Alberta to consider providing Athabasca University with the same $3 million in funding for mental health services that the University of Alberta, University of Calgary, and University of Lethbridge will each receive over the next three years.


The Athabasca University Graduate Students’ Association and the Athabasca University Students’ Union are calling on the Government of Alberta to consider providing Athabasca University with the same $3 million in funding for mental health services that the University of Alberta, University of Calgary, and University of Lethbridge will each receive over the next three years.

“While we are pleased to see the province taking action to provide supports to students with mental health issues, we’re disappointed that Athabasca University did not receive any funding as part of the new initiative,” said Athabasca University Students’ Union President Bethany Tynes.

Given that Athabasca University actually has more students in Alberta than the University of Lethbridge (more than 14,000 compared to the Lethbridge’s 9,300), leaving Athabasca out of this funding initiative simply does not make sense.

Athabasca University plays an important role in ensuring that post-secondary education is accessible to students who might not otherwise be able to attend university, particularly students living in rural and isolated communities.

“Just as these students might not be able to obtain a post-secondary education were it not for an online institution like Athabasca University, they may have difficulty accessing mental health services in their community,” Amanda Nielsen, President of the Athabasca University Graduate Students’ Association said, “Without funding for the university to provide mental health supports to them, these students may be left without reliable access to mental healthcare.”

The Athabasca University Graduate Students’ Association and the Athabasca University Students’ Union have requested a meeting with the Minister of Health and the Minister of Enterprise and Advanced Education to discuss this matter, and are urging the Government of Alberta to correct this oversight and provide Athabasca University with the same level of funding for mental health services that is being offered to the Universities of Alberta, Calgary, and Lethbridge.

About the Athabasca University Graduate Students’ Association:

The Athabasca University Graduate Students’ Association (AUGSA) is the official representative of graduate students at Athabasca University and advocates on their behalf to the government and the university. AUGSA is committed to ensuring that graduate education at Athabasca University is affordable, accessible and of outstanding quality.

About the Athabasca University Students’ Union:

The Athabasca University Students’ Union (AUSU) is the official representative of undergraduate students at Athabasca University and represents the will of their members to Athabasca University, to the public, and to all levels of government.

Contacts:

Amanda Nielsen
President
Athabasca University Graduate Students’ Association
(780) 920-5001
president@augsa.com
http://www.augsa.com

Bethany Tynes
President
Athabasca University Students’ Union
(780) 497-7000
president@ausu.org
http://www.ausu.org

###