Students who attend Calgary’s Mount Royal University will benefit from a new early break from classes starting next year.

After Thanksgiving, administrators at MRU say students won’t need to come back to class until the following Monday.

The break, from October 10 to 13, 2017, is intended to help support students’ mental health and academic success.

“We feel strongly that the timing of this break will be extremely beneficial to students’ mental health and well-being,” said David Docherty, President of Mount Royal University in a release. “The decision to add a fall term reading week reflects our commitment to student success.”

The break was originally created from a recommendation made back in 2013 and the school says that it comes early enough in the year so students can connect with faculty and support services for help before issues become too great.

Mount Royal’s Student Association is behind the idea, saying that it comes after two years of a successful pilot project that added two ‘reading days’ in November.

Robert Nelson, academic vice president with the Students’ Association, says the initiative shows MRU’s desire to put students’ mental health first.

“Giving students a chance to prioritize their well-being will undoubtedly improve their chances at academic success and contribute to an overall improvement in the quality of their lives and education.”

MRU is the only post-secondary institution in Calgary to announce a week-long break in the fall.

Administrators will be closely monitoring the outcomes from the schedule change, with particular attention on students’ GPA, retention rates and satisfaction surveys.