The Committee on Student Mental Health (CoSMH) reconvened on July 26. As of this meeting, 39% of our recommendations are in progress, and 33% are complete. All of the top 10 priority ranked recommendations are either complete or in progress, and the committee aims to vote to confirm the completion of those recommendations by the fall term.
CoSMH voted to confirm the completion of the following work:
The Committee on Student Mental Health (CoSMH) voted to confirm the completion of recommendation 15, which calls for mechanisms to encourage faculty to address wellness and mental health as part of curriculum development. The Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE) provides resources and workshops to support integration of mental health, resilience and support resources into curriculum and course development. Deans, chairs and directors will be asked to share messaging on CTE’s many offerings in faculty council, department and school meetings, and with sessional instructors.
On April 5, the Committee on Student Mental Health voted on the completion of recommendation 18based on the training modules the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response team has established on campus. Director of Equity Gina Hickman addressed CoSMH to share updates from the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Equity (PACE) and its working groups.
Recommendations 17 and 20 have been completed, with ongoing work to be continued by the appropriate campus bodies. The Committee on Student Mental Health (CoSMH) has begun to address recommendation 22, which proposed mental health literacy training for students, staff, and faculty. CoSMH will work closely with a mental health training steering committee directed by Campus Wellness, as well as with Chris Read, (CoSMH member and Associate Provost, Students), to determine the scope of training for students.
The Committee on Student Mental Health (CoSMH) is in the final stages of implementing two high-priority recommendations, 17 and 20. Recommendation 17 addresses the accessibility of mental health training and mental health resources for faculty. In the most recent meeting, CoSMH members moved to request the inclusion of a mental health training component in each faculty’s respective onboarding processes and performance evaluations.
The activity of the President’s Advisory Committee on Student Mental Health (PAC-SMH) and the Committee on Student Mental Health (CoSMH) been noted by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), which is collaborating with the Canadian Standards Association to create a national standard for Post-Secondary Student Psychological Health and Safety. Dr. John P. Hirdes, CoSMH chair, and Dr. Walter Mittelstaedt, director of Campus Wellness, are working together to engage in the consultation process on a technical committee.
After consultation with representatives from the Student Success Office (SSO), AccessAbility Services, and Campus Wellness, the Committee on Student Mental Health (CoSMH) has made significant progress on Recommendations 17 and 20 (ranked first and second). Upcoming tasks include the examination of strategies to encourage faculty members to engage in mental health training, providing oversight to a steering committee focused on University of Waterloo mental health training programs, and the maintenance of a central resource inventory.
Students make up almost a third of the Committee on Student Mental Health (CoSMH) membership – three undergraduate and two graduate. Ayana Kawe is the international student representative, 3A in Life Physics in the Faculty of Science, and was Muslim Student Association President Winter 2018. Undergraduate student at large Katie Arnold is a 3A student from the Faculty of Engineering, and the President of the Waterloo Engineering Society. Richard Wu, a fourth-year biomedical student, is the President and representative from the Federation of Students (2018/19).
The Committee on Student Mental Health (CoSMH) hosted the Student Mental Health Forum on October 24th, and members were thrilled to see the university community’s continued dedication to mental health developments on campus through the quality of questions and conversations prompted during the event.
The video recording of the Thrive Student Mental Health Forum is now available for viewing online. If you missed the Forum, you can now view the recording which includes updates from University of Waterloo President Feridun Hamdullapur, the Co-SMH, and the signing of the Okanagan Charter.