The University of Guelph is committed to becoming a leader in supporting student mental health. To meet this commitment, the University is launching a new President’s Task Force on Student Mental Health, led by experts at U of G.
“Mental health is a complex concept,” says Dr. Charlotte Yates, University president and vice-chancellor. “To properly support our students and help them reach their full potential, we require an approach that embraces this complexity and builds on commitments from each of us.”
The task force is led by Dr. Andrew Papadopoulos, professor and coordinator of the University’s master of public health program, and Alison Burnett, director of Student Wellness Services. Their goal is to make student mental health a priority for the whole institution, with a coordinated approach involving everyone in the University community.
Task force goals
The task force will:
- conduct a current state analysis, gathering input from students, staff and faculty across the University
- provide a report on findings by fall 2023
- use that report to develop a whole-of-the-University plan that will meet current and future student mental health needs.
The elements of this plan will be built into University policies, programs and actions to transform U of G’s approach to student mental health. It will directly benefit students, their immediate circle of support and the institution.
A whole-of-the-University approach integrates mental health into every aspect of University life, from design of curricula and assessments to the built environment. It includes the full spectrum from prevention through programs, services and care. This approach examines how a mental health lens can be applied to new and existing policies and procedures.
The task force’s work begins this winter with key milestones over the next year and beyond.
- Winter 2023 – launch of task force
- Winter through spring 2023 – information gathering and analysis of current state
- Summer 2023 – creation of student mental health action plan
- Fall 2023 – presentation of plan to the University community
- Fall 2023 and onward – implementation of the plan
Through this task force, the University of Guelph will have a lasting impact on student mental health now and for future generations of students.