Media Releases

Trinity College receives $1.75 million to launch mental health and wellness program

December 11, 2015

Toron­to, ON — Through the gen­er­ous sup­port of alum­ni, Trin­i­ty Col­lege will be enhanc­ing its Health and Well­ness pro­gram and pro­vid­ing on-site men­tal health coun­selling and sup­port ser­vices for its stu­dents.

Trin­i­ty alum­na Dr. Anne Stea­cy ’76 has donat­ed $1.5 mil­lion to estab­lish the Anne Stea­cy Coun­selling Ini­tia­tive, which will sup­port core staffing in the area of men­tal health and well­ness, includ­ing on-site coun­selling for stu­dents.

“Sup­port­ing stu­dents goes beyond pro­vid­ing an excel­lent edu­ca­tion­al experience—healthy devel­op­ment of the whole per­son is cru­cial if we are to enable our stu­dents to ful­fill their enor­mous poten­tial. Noth­ing is more impor­tant in this regard than men­tal health and well­ness,” said Mayo Moran, Provost and Vice Chan­cel­lor, Trin­i­ty Col­lege.

“Dr. Stea­cy iden­ti­fied the impor­tance of this need and was crit­i­cal to shap­ing the vision of the pro­gram,” Provost Moran said. “We are so grate­ful for her lead­er­ship and com­mit­ment to the stu­dent expe­ri­ence. Trin­i­ty Col­lege is for­tu­nate to have such a won­der­ful part­ner in sup­port­ing the well-being of our stu­dents.”

Dr. Stea­cy envi­sioned a coun­selling pro­gram as a way to pro­vide a safe­ty net for stu­dents. “Not every­one can be a ‘Fly­ing Wallenda’—performing on a tightrope with­out a net. It can be hor­ri­bly lone­ly up there,” said Dr. Stea­cy, adding that she fond­ly remem­bers Pro­fes­sor Pat Bruck­mann as being a part of her safe­ty net when she was at Trin­i­ty. “Through the new ini­tia­tive, Trin­i­ty will be able to help stu­dents who may feel over­whelmed due to an ingrained pres­sure to per­form per­fect­ly all the time or have lost bal­ance in cer­tain aspects of their life.”

This com­mit­ment has inspired oth­er gen­er­ous alum­ni to lend their sup­port to this impor­tant cause. Trin­i­ty Col­lege is extreme­ly for­tu­nate to have received anoth­er gift to sup­port health and well­ness. Michael Royce ‘68 and Sheila (Northey) Royce ‘68 have com­mit­ted $250,000 to sup­port Trinity’s Health and Well­ness pro­gram.

“We rec­og­nize that, if Trin­i­ty is to remain the cen­tre of true excel­lence it has long been, it must pro­vide com­pre­hen­sive sup­port to its stu­dents to allow them to take full advan­tage of the Trin­i­ty expe­ri­ence. We believe this ini­tia­tive will con­sti­tute a cen­tral pil­lar of that sup­port,” the Royces said.

“The finan­cial sup­port from these alum­ni will allow the Col­lege to devel­op unique and ambi­tious pro­gram­ming in the area of health and well­ness,” Provost Moran said. “Imple­ment­ing this pro­gram will be one of the most impor­tant things we do at Trin­i­ty Col­lege, and it nev­er would have hap­pened with­out the gen­er­ous sup­port from our alum­ni.”

Research from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toronto’s Report of the Provos­tial Advi­so­ry Com­mit­tee on Stu­dent Men­tal Health and the Cen­tre for Addic­tion and Men­tal Health (CAMH) con­firm the urgency of men­tal health needs among uni­ver­si­ty stu­dents. In recent years, Trin­i­ty stu­dents have also iden­ti­fied the need for more robust health and well­ness sup­ports, par­tic­u­lar­ly coun­selling, and they have tak­en action. Dur­ing the last aca­d­e­m­ic year, the stu­dent body approved a self-imposed levy to raise approx­i­mate­ly $9,000 annu­al­ly to help sup­port the Health and Well­ness pro­gram at the Col­lege.

Fourth-year Trin­i­ty stu­dent Kaleem Hawa knows how impor­tant on-site coun­selling ser­vices will be for stu­dents. “When Trinity’s stu­dents autho­rized an annu­al stu­dent fee to help the Col­lege pay for an embed­ded coun­sel­lor, it sent a strong mes­sage that this is incred­i­bly impor­tant to our com­mu­ni­ty,” said Hawa, who served as Chair of the College’s stu­dent gov­ern­ment in 2014–2015 and as under­grad­u­ate rep­re­sen­ta­tive on U of T Provost Cheryl Regehr’s Men­tal Health Com­mit­tee. “This is an amaz­ing exam­ple of how the stu­dent voice can work in con­junc­tion with admin­is­tra­tive cham­pi­ons like Provosts Moran and Regehr to serve as a cat­a­lyst for improv­ing men­tal health ser­vice deliv­ery on cam­pus. This will have an impact on Trinity’s stu­dents for years to come.”

The Anne Stea­cy Coun­selling Ini­tia­tive will enable the Col­lege to hire a full-time per­son to pro­vide one-on-one sup­port and men­tal health and well­ness edu­ca­tion and train­ing. This pro­fes­sion­al will serve a vital func­tion in inte­grat­ing and enhanc­ing exist­ing Trin­i­ty sup­ports and liais­ing with Col­lege, U of T and com­mu­ni­ty resources. The per­son in this new role will also work close­ly with Trinity’s embed­ded on-site clin­i­cal coun­sel­lor, reg­is­tered psy­chol­o­gist Dr. Chris­tine Cabr­era, who joined Trin­i­ty in Sep­tem­ber (two days a week). Dr. Cabr­era is a spe­cial­ized U of T Health and Well­ness trained coun­sel­lor. Ongo­ing sup­port from lead­ers of U of T’s Divi­sion of Health and Well­ness have helped shape Trinity’s new health and well­ness pro­gram­ming.

“Plac­ing the coun­sel­lor out­side of the clin­i­cal set­ting and into the com­mu­ni­ty will increase access for stu­dents who may oth­er­wise not seek out the pro­fes­sion­al sup­port they need and help to de-stig­ma­tize the act of ask­ing for help,” said Janine Robb, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of Health and Well­ness at the St. George cam­pus. “Sup­port­ing stu­dents’ needs by pair­ing pre­ven­tion and capac­i­ty-build­ing with coun­selling ser­vices, Trinity’s new pro­gram will serve as a mod­el for oth­er col­leges and fac­ul­ties to adopt across the U of T cam­pus.”


Found­ed in 1851, Trin­i­ty Col­lege is the small­est and one of the old­est and most ven­er­a­ble under­grad­u­ate col­leges at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to. Trin­i­ty has approx­i­mate­ly 1,800 under­grad­u­ate stu­dents enrolled in U of T’s Fac­ul­ty of Arts & Sci­ence, and about 140 stu­dents in Trinity’s Fac­ul­ty of Divin­i­ty.

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For fur­ther infor­ma­tion, con­tact:

Young Um
Direc­tor, Com­mu­ni­ca­tions & Pub­lic Affairs
Trin­i­ty Col­lege