A message from the President: The importance of addressing student mental health

Tuesday, March 6, 2018
by Feridun Hamdullahpur

On Monday, March 5, our campus lost a student to suicide. In the hours that followed this tragic event, our campus expressed shock, anger and grief at the loss of another young life.

Words cannot express my sadness upon hearing this news. Like many of you, I am asking what was going on in this young man’s world where taking his life seemed the only way out. I am thinking about his parents, his family, and his friends and the terrible impact this will have on their lives.

As a community, I believe we need to talk about what happened. We need to talk about this young man and we need to continue to talk about mental health. And we need to turn talk into action to make sure we are doing everything in our power to remove the stigma and connect people with the help they need.

Over the past several months, many people have gone to great lengths to start these discussions to give us ideas on where we can improve life at Waterloo for students. In the coming days, I will receive a final report and recommendations from the President’s Advisory Committee on Student Mental Health. I plan to share that report broadly with our campus community to hear feedback and to announce how we will move forward in support of student mental health.

We have suffered a terrible loss. As we reflect on what has happened, let us come together as a community to not only share our grief, but to ensure that those who are suffering know that there is a place for them to go, people for them to talk to, and support for them in their time of need.

Feridun Hamdullahpur
President and Vice-Chancellor

Are you in crisis, feeling unsafe, or worried you might hurt yourself or others? Contact any of the providers below to get the help you need.

Counselling Services - 519-888-4567 ext. 32655

Health Services - Student Medical Clinic - 519-888-4096

Grand River Hospital - 519-749-4300

St. Mary's Hospital - 519-744-3311

Good2Talk - 1-866-925-5454

Here 24/7 - 1-844-437-3247

Crisis Services Canada - 1-833-456-4566 or by text 45645  

Kitchener-Waterloo Sexual Assault Support Centre - 519-741-8633