The remainder of this report aims to summarize the findings, analysis and recommendations of the PAC-SMH including sources listed above and external research. Common themes emerged as the work of the PAC-SMH panels began, research from other institution’s mental health work was analyzed, and all was reviewed through a lens of qualitative analysis and community engagement.
A second method of compilation has been to overlay the collected information with a known organizational scheme. Several of the panels referenced the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services (CACUSS, 2013) model of post-secondary mental health response for students. The model is well-suited to address both the PAC-SMH Terms of Reference and the panel mandate questions. The following is a graphic depiction of the CACUSS model.
Model of Post-secondary Mental Health Response (CACUSS, 2013)
The CACUSS model conceptualizes a spectrum of ways that post-secondary institutions can respond to mental health issues. For example, the top three categories are population-based approaches for health promotion to keep the entire study body mentally well and flourishing (e.g. policy, campus culture and environmental supports). Moving toward the middle of the model, strategies focus on mental health disease prevention and early intervention, which includes building the capacity of the system to respond to student needs and promoting self-management and coping skills. Finally, the bottom strategies focus on the smaller percentage of students struggling with mental health concerns or illness and who need access to comprehensive services and crisis management.
The five supporting panels each generated final reports with recommendations for PAC-SMH to consider. In total, approximately 170 recommendations were put forward. Upon review of the individual reports, much overlap was found and it is likely that the recommendations put forward in the present report represent some of this overlap. Some recommendations were not included in this report but many of these areas are worthy of continued study. For example, there were some areas for which the PAC-SMH did not have the knowledge to fully assess the feasibility of the recommendation. If these exclusions are deemed important to a future implementation committee, they can be reconsidered. The panel reports, with the extended recommendations, will thus be helpful as part of the implementation process.