Progress Dashboard

The final report and 36 recommendations from the President’s Advisory Committee on Student Mental Health (PAC-SMH) were presented in March 2018. Since that time a lot of work has taken place.

The Committee on Student Mental Health (CoSMH), the implementation committee, is now in the process of addressing each recommendation in priority.

As of July 29, 2019, a total of 39 per cent of recommendations are in progress and 33 per cent have been completed. For more information about the specific progress of each recommendation and the definition of each of the three statuses, please visit the Recommendation Progress Page.

Icon of a documentRecommendation #1Status: Pending

The University should facilitate a wellness and mental health analysis when new academic programming is proposed. The University should develop a mental health framework for use when writing new, or reviewing existing, policies and procedures.

Icon of people seated around a tableRecommendation #2Status: In Progress

Equip AccessAbility Services with the capacity to review mental health-related accommodation requests on campus, while maintaining the confidentiality of the student.

Icon of people seated around a tableRecommendation #3Status: In Progress

Develop a centralized physical and online system for submitting Verification of Illness Forms that notifies all students’ instructors while maintaining confidentiality of students’ medical conditions and history.

Icon of a documentRecommendation #4Status: Pending

The University should develop proper recourse mechanisms for students who allege staff or faculty have violated an approved accommodation request related to mental health.

Icon of a check markRecommendation #5Status: Complete

Strike a working group that recommends implementable best practices around exam and evaluations with a wellness viewpoint in mind.

Icon of people seated at a tableRecommendation #6Status: In Progress

Academic programs should review for unnecessary stress those sequences in which students acquire their first co-op position in the second term. The PAC-SMH recommends that a committee be struck to investigate how to reduce the stress levels associated with this sequence.

Icon of a check markRecommendation #7Status: Complete

Consider universal instructional design as a valuable perspective that can be used to improve course delivery. Consider a collaborative effort between CTE and faculties to include universal instructional design in existing and new courses.

Develop an online resource to record good practices for embedding universal instructional design and mental wellness into teaching.

Icon of a checkmarkRecommendation #8Status: Complete

Openly communicate the process the University undertakes when communicating about student deaths on campus.

Icon of a documentRecommendation #9Status: Pending

Develop a protocol to include community partners when communicating adverse events that involve a member of the community, while ensuring that support services are available to those impacted by the event.

Icon of a documentRecommendation #10Status: Pending

All academic programs and student service departments should include peer mentorship activities in the delivery of their mission.

Icon of a check markRecommendation #11Status: Complete

A committee should be struck to develop and implement a cultural competency strategy for the University regarding health promotion and student wellness. The committee would review campus policies, procedures and practices in consideration of race, ethnicity, faith, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and socioeconomic status.

Icon of a documentRecommendation #12Status: Pending

Expand the range of options for students who are having challenges in interactions with their supervisors or instructors. For example, consider the model of an ombudsperson employed at some institutions with functions such as support, advocacy, and tracking data/patterns.

Icon of a documentRecommendation #13Status: Pending

Identify and implement University facilities and infrastructure standards and best practices into the design, planning, and rejuvenation activities for all campus physical spaces to promote and enhance student wellness and supportive learning environments.

Icon of people seated at a tableRecommendation #14Status: In progress

Open a continuous dialogue with students, staff, faculty, and the wider community about mental health and well-being, including online forums for discussion.

Icon of a check markRecommendation #15Status: Complete

Encourage faculty to integrate curriculum focused on mental health, resilience, and support resources and to develop courses in ways that promote mental wellness.

Icon of people seated at a tableRecommendation #16Status: In Progress

Support the professional development of faculty by exploring ways to share existing best practices between instructors on an ongoing basis, particularly in an online format and encouraging faculty involvement in teaching-related professional development by recognizing these efforts in their merit reviews. 

Icon of a check markRecommendation #17Status: Complete

Ensure that faculty have appropriate and timely information to support students, by making mental health training part of the on-boarding process for new faculty, strongly encourage mental health training in existing faculty, and providing clear guidelines to instructors regarding who they can contact when they have concerns about a student’s welfare.

Icon of a check markRecommendation #18Status: Complete

The Sexual Violence Response Coordinator should provide training related to sexual violence to other healthcare workers on campus.

Icon of a check markRecommendation #19Status: Complete

Develop an integrated marketing and communications plan to inform students about all the available support options, including implementing opt-in information sharing and transition programming during orientation for incoming students living with mental illness and creating a centrally maintained database of available supports for students. 

Icon of a check markRecommendation #20Status: Complete

Make information and resources about mental health easy to find, including but not limited to the following: Implementing one platform to access services and supports, developing a comprehensive list of peer supports on campus and provide opportunities for knowledge sharing, enhancing existing peer support resources, and clearly describing available mental health resources in the Region.

Icon of people seated around a tableRecommendation #21Status: In progress

Develop a campus-wide training program in resiliency. Ensure that a common definition of resiliency is used across all program delivery platforms and training providers.

Icon of a check markRecommendation #22Status: Complete

Implement a comprehensive education and training strategy to increase mental health literacy among students, staff, and faculty. Create situational mental health training based on role and/or faculty and make it available to all.

Icon of people seated at a tableRecommendation #23Status: In Progress

Use research on best practices and review opportunities for self-assessment/self-management and early intervention through digital applications.

Icon of a documentRecommendation #24Status: Pending

Assess the current level of coordination of peer support networks. Create a mechanism for coordination and knowledge sharing.

Icon of people seated at a tableRecommendation #25Status: In progress

University of Waterloo should join the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction Postsecondary Education Partnership — Alcohol Harms, a partnership that other universities across Canada have joined.

Icon of people seated at a tableRecommendation #26Status: In Progress

Develop new training programs in the following areas:

  • How parents can support their students.
  • Strategies to prevent sexual violence.
  • Bystander intervention training in orientation leader training.
Icon of people seated at a tableRecommendation #27Status: In progress

Review staffing practices and plans in Counselling Services, with an emphasis on the following: An external review to determine whether a recent reorganization, as well as the existing on-call system, has achieved its purpose; investigate the utility of embedding counsellors within each faculty and residence; and implement the recommended ratio of 1 counsellor/psychologist FTE for every 1,000 students (36.67 FTE).

Recommendation #28Status: In progress

Invest in training and research for underserved/ disproportionately affected populations. Ensure counsellor training is kept up to date and relevant to student needs (with a specific focus on cultural competence). Conduct a climate survey on the experience and perception of supports specifically designed to meet needs of international students.

Recommendation #29Status: Pending

Update and promote available funding for mental health services on and off campus. In light of the recent government change in funding of prescription drugs, use any surplus from the Student Health Plan toward mental health. Inform students about the funding and services available to receive services off-campus. Review the feasibility of funding a 24/7 service providing counselling by telephone, video, or the internet.

Recommendation #30Status: In progress

Mental health supports and resources for student’s off-campus (e.g. international placements, co-op placements) should be developed and the level of support available should be clearly communicated.

Recommendation #31Status: In progress

Engage with off-campus mental health services and community partners (e.g. Connectivity KW4 and Here 24/7) to better support students, particularly during peak times. Develop a protocol to connect students from an on-campus wellness service to an off-campus service. Organize outreach sessions with local community partners (e.g. high school teachers) to explore innovative ways to serve student mental health needs.

Recommendation #32Status: In progress

Tailor the level of mental and physical health care provision to the needs of the individual. Continue to develop a complex care team to respond to students with more complex mental health issues. Continue to develop and implement a stepped-care approach within Health Services and Counselling Services.

Recommendation #33Status: Complete

A committee should be established to oversee implementation of the recommendations of this report, as well as to provide consistent feedback and advice regarding the strengths and limitations of the University response to the mental health and wellness of students.

Icon of a checkmarkRecommendation #34Status: Complete

Undertake a full adoption and promotion of the Okanagan Charter.

Icon of a documentRecommendation #35Status: Pending

Further exploration of the development of a research institute or speciality area in student mental health and wellness.

Icon of a documentRecommendation #36Status: Pending

The PAC-SMH recommends University of Waterloo endorse and actively advocate to the provincial government, using its government affairs/relations apparatus, to implement the 26 recommendations in the In It Together report.