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Update on the President’s Advisory Committee on Student Mental Health

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

I’d like to thank everyone that responded to my request for applications to serve on the President’s Advisory Committee on Student Mental Health.

We received a large of number of applications for panel membership from across the UWaterloo community. This response affirms the passion in our community for developing and enhancing the mental health and wellness environment.

Many of you took time to share your own stories of experiences with mental health concerns, either personally, or through close friends and families.

Clearly, we have an active ongoing conversation at UWaterloo around student mental health and the committee will extend this dialogue and find new ways to take action.

The President’s Advisory Committee on Student Mental Health finalized selections of the supporting panels, with broad representation from different facets of the University. The five panels of 20 members each are comprised of students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members. Students will provide a mix of undergraduate, graduate, co-op, non co-op, international and domestic voices.

As part of a panel launch, each panel will hold its first meeting on July 27, 2017. The launch day is divided in two significant sections: presentations and planning. During the morning, Dr. Mike Condra, a respected speaker and advocate for post-secondary student mental health, will provide orienting information to the group and they will also have the opportunity to learn about on campus services. The afternoon will be reserved for breakout sessions for the panels.

The panels, which are grouped with the themes of Student Experience, Student Services, Academic, Mental Health Experts, and Community partners, will each begin to address a series of questions posed by the committee. The results of these discussions are expected to form the basis of our recommendations regarding student mental health. Panels will continue to meet through the fall term.

This brief progress report documents that this is an active and vibrant process.  This level of activity is only possible because of the strong interest, engagement and commitment to follow-through demonstrated by many members of the UWaterloo community. To learn more about the advisory committee and its terms of reference, please visit https://uwaterloo.ca/mental-health-wellness/terms-reference.

Feridun Hamdullahpur, President and Vice-Chancellor

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