Mental health commission gets broad input
The Principal’s Commission on Mental Health has spent the last few months listening to the Queen’s community.
“We’ve met with students, staff, faculty, parents, experts and community members who are giving us an amazing, thoughtful and practical spectrum of advice and ideas on a strategy to help promote awareness and literacy, reduce stigma, support students in distress and foster an inclusive and supportive environment that maximizes health and wellness and effectively responds to illness,” says Chair David Walker.
The commission of five has met weekly all fall and continues to invite anyone interested in providing input to get in touch with them at email@example.com. The commission has a website, where it is posting summaries of its meetings and links to some of the resources it has been gathering.
“We will continue to meet with individuals and groups and we are going to consult with University Senate in January," says Dr. Walker, Former Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and a Professor of Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, and Policy Studies. "We will also be holding larger forums over the next few months to talk about specific areas of our mandate. We’ll then start writing our report.”
There are areas of the student experience that have regularly come up as factors that can impact mental health and well-being. These include academic pressures and workload, the various transitions involved in the life of a student (home to residence, high school to university, residence to living in the community, undergraduate to graduate school) and the particular needs and stresses of international students and members of the LGBT community, among others.
“There are so many people on this campus who are passionate about helping our students succeed,” says commission member Jennifer Medves, Vice-Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences and Director, School of Nursing. “We have been really moved by the depth of their commitment. It’s been an inspiring experience so far.”
The commission was established by Principal Daniel Woolf in September and is scheduled to make its recommendations in the spring.