Supporting equity and inclusion in mental health resources
Thanks to a new grant from the Bell Let’s Talk Post-Secondary Fund, Queen’s will soon have new mental health supports for students who identify as Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, or People of Colour (QTBIPOC). The $100,000 grant will fund two new fellowships for recently trained QTBIPOC-identifying counsellors to work in Queen’s Student Wellness Services (SWS). These new professionals will provide counselling services, including one-on-one appointments, walk-in counselling, and group counselling.
Bell officially presented the university with a cheque during the Queen’s women’s volleyball game on Jan. 20.
“Bell's support acknowledges the complex layers of student experiences and underlines the importance of culturally and identity-appropriate mental health care where possible,” says Cynthia Gibney, Executive Director, SWS. “This investment is not just for the wellbeing of our students but also a part of the fabric of our campus culture, supporting the campus values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
This fellowship program is a new initiative in SWS that expands capacity to serve QTBIPOC students, while advancing and supporting the careers of newly trained QTBIPOC counsellors in a clinical, post-secondary setting.
“The addition of a QTBIPOC Counselling Fellow within our team is pivotal to building a therapeutic space where students don't just receive quality mental health care, but find their voices and experiences reflected and respected,” says Amber McCart, Senior Clinician, Manager, Counselling Services.
Fellows will be professional QTBIPOC psychotherapy and clinical psychology counsellors who have completed their studies and required internships. One Counselling Fellow will be hired per year, and they will gain substantial clinical experience in a supportive counselling community. Queen’s will provide the required annual hours of clinical supervision for full licensure of recently graduated counsellors. Queen’s will also provide administrative supervision, equipment, office space, and professional development opportunities required to maintain regulatory college membership.
“The goal of the new QTBIPOC Counselling Fellowship program is to increase accessibility to culturally resonant mental health services for QTBIPOC students at Queen's,” says Shannon Bovey, Clinical Manager, Internship Programs, Student Wellness Services. “By providing newly trained counsellors with post-practicum job opportunities, we're building a bridge between emerging QTBIPOC professionals and students seeking guidance from people who stand with them in significant aspects of their identity.”
Learn more about mental health resources at Queen’s on the SWS website.
Note: This story originally appeared in the Queen's Gazette.