Laurentian University students ‘frustrated’ by referendum on funding mental health care

Posted on April 18th, 2017

Laurentian University students recently rejected the opportunity to pay more for increased counselling services on campus.

Now some are questioning why something as fundamental as mental health care became a referendum topic.

“It’s actually a shame,” said Julia Kinna, a second-year social work student.

“But I don’t think it’s a matter of students not wanting to pay. I think students are just frustrated with the fact that it shouldn’t even be a question if mental health services are implemented in schools.”

Kinna voted in favour of increasing the student mental health services fee from $20 to $90.

The money would have gone towards hiring four new counsellors, including: a mental health prevention and education coordinator, substance abuse and addictions coordinator, crisis prevention and management co-ordinator, and a sexual violence prevention and support coordinator.

But the referendum did not get enough student support. 

“In my tuition, I pay [$150] for a bus pass that … I don’t use,” Kinna said. 

“I’m frustrated that money is going towards something that I’m not using, where it could be redirected towards saving someone’s life.”

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