UPEI students lobby politicians for mental health funding
New letter-writing campaign organized by student union
The UPEI Student Union is asking students to write letters to the government to try to get provincial funding for mental health initiatives.
The union would like funding of $25 per student — about $110,000 total — to help pay for and expand resources and programs on campus for student mental health.
"If I can actually, in a more concrete way, display just how many students are so passionate about this topic and who want to see changes — I figured this was a better way to display that," said student union vice president Taya Nabuurs.
The union launched the campaign Tuesday morning, and Nabuurs said students have been eagerly signing pre-written letter forms at kiosks on campus. The union counted almost 200 letters at the end of Tuesday.
Students can also write their own letters. The campaign continues until Thursday.
"I've been overwhelmed honestly with how positive it's been so far," Nabuurs said.
The <a href="https://twitter.com/UPEISU?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@UPEISU</a> letter-writing campaign for mental health launched this morning! Come visit us in McDougall or the Student Centre today, tomorrow, or Thursday to write your letter! Let government know that you care about mental health resources on campus. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PEIPSE?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PEIPSE</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/peipoli?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#peipoli</a> <a href="https://t.co/He8KzWLfWD">pic.twitter.com/He8KzWLfWD</a>—@UPEISU_VPAX
The letters will be addressed to P.E.I.'s ministers of health, advanced learning, and finance, as well as the premier. Students may also send it to their own MLAs.
"We're hoping that government officials will recognize how important this is to students and how needed this is," Nabuurs said. "I think it would be very hard to ignore the strength and the number of the voices that are speaking out within this campaign."
The union has some ideas for where the money could go if it's secured, Nabuurs said, but nothing has been finalized.
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With files from Malcolm Campbell