As of March 2021, implementation of 86% of the recommendations from the President’s Advisory Committee on Student Mental Health report has been completed. Work is currently underway on the remaining 14% (5) of the recommendations, which the Committee on Student Mental Health (CoSMH) aims to address by the end of April 2021. CoSMH hosted the University of Waterloo’s inaugural Virtual Conference on Student Mental Health Research in November 2020, during Thrive Week. The conference featured presentations on completed and on-going research by 14 faculty, staff, graduate students, and external partners; 14 posters submitted by staff and students; and almost 300 registrants. If you missed it, recordings of all oral and poster presentations are available here.
Since October 2020, the committee has voted to confirm the completion of 8 PAC-SMH recommendations:
- Recommendation #2, equip AccessAbility Services with capacity to review confidential mental health-related accommodation requests on campus;
- Recommendation #6, strike a committee to review academic program sequences that require students to acquire their first co-op position in the second term;
- Recommendation #16, support and recognize faculty professional development, and share best practices between instructors;
- Recommendation #23, use research on best practices to assess digital apps for self-assessment, self-management, and early intervention;
- Recommendation #24, create a mechanism for coordination and knowledge sharing between peer support networks;
- Recommendation #26, develop new training programs for parents supporting students, sexual violence prevention, and bystander intervention for orientation leaders;
- Recommendation #30, develop and communicate mental health supports and resources for students off-campus; and
- Recommendation #36, endorse and advocate to the provincial government to implement the In It Together report.
More details are available on our Recommendation Progress page. CoSMH supports the formation of a new, standing mechanism at UWaterloo to address existing and emerging student mental health and wellness, and will be releasing a final report detailing the committee's work and making recommendations for the new mechanism.