Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Principal’s Commission on Mental Health Chair Dr. David Walker said he looks forward to receiving student input.
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Report includes over 80 recommendations be harsh, we can set the example here by showing that you can combine high should look to raise funds to create a new academic standards and a community that Health and Wellness Centre,” Walker said. cares for itself and accepts that some people In addition to the relocation, the will have mental illness.” commission recommends health and Walker said the commission is most counselling be integrated and a review of interested in hearing what students have to HCDS be done. say about the recommendations. Walker said moving the services into the Natalie Munn, ArtSci ’13, has already ARC, or somewhere nearby, is one possibility had a chance to look over the paper. Munn for the relocation. has experience in mental illness-initiatives “It should be in a place where you can herself as a member of the Mental Health wander in there, and you can wander off and Awareness Committee (MHAC), but she get a Tim’s and chat with friends, rather than offered her opinions as a student at large. having to go sit in that sad building,” he said. “While the commission notably Another significant recommendation is recommends changes to academic policies in introducing a 13-week Fall term compared hopes of alleviating student-wide stress levels to the current 12-week term. The and gaining an overall promotion of wellness, proposed new term structure would begin I was disappointed to find that the paper on a Thursday and end on a Wednesday, focused much more on general health of the and would include the opportunity for a student body than it did on critical mental fall break. illness,” she told the Journal via email. The question of a fall reading week was Munn said she would like to see brought to AMS referendum in 2007 but contact-based education, which includes the was rejected by students. Had the vote passed, sharing of personal stories from those with the decision would have been non-binding. mental illness, implemented to reduce stigma. “Queen’s is one of the only universities in HCDS Director Dr. Mike Condra said Canada that has a 12-week term, so it’s really he thinks the recommendations regarding packed,” Walker said. HCDS are promising. “These are services that have been on A fall break, he added, still wouldn’t solve the campus now for 40 plus years,” he the problem of overly condensed courses. “I’m not sure people will buy that, but it’s said. “The environment around them keeps a discussion point.” shifting and changing.” The paper also touches on stigma. Walker said he hopes to see Queen’s Feedback on the report can be submitted to become an example for others by reducing email@example.com until October. mental health stigma on campus. “While the rest of the world may still Continued from page 1
Mental health recoMMendations Towards a Mental Health Strategy for Queen’s includes over 80 recommendations. Here are seven of them. • Enable students to drop marks that are negatively affecting their transcripts and their confidence. • Adopt an upper-year buddy program where senior peers with shared interests can offer advice or support to younger students. • Give first-years the opportunity to stay in their assigned room for a few days in the summer to ensure their smooth transition to campus life. • Develop a “neighborhood advisors” program where upper year or graduate students offer support to students living in the community. • Lobby the government for student loan flexibility so that in the event of breaks from school money isn’t lost. • Develop systems to identify first-year students in academic difficulty and create a program to help these students improve their academic standing. • Health, Counseling and Disability Services should review their opening hours to meet the different needs of students. — Rosie Hales
Published on Jun 26, 2012