Mental health counselling for students expanding
Additional counselling services and supports for Queen’s students will be implemented this fall.
An additional full-time counsellor is being hired to provide approximately 600 more hours of support at Health, Counselling and Disability Services and the University is advertising nationally for an Associate Director of Counselling. An additional counsellor is also going to be based in residences to supplement existing services.
“The additional counsellors will help shorten wait times for appointments,” says Mike Condra, Director of Health, Counselling and Disability Services. “This will enable us to focus on seeing students who are in distress quickly and to avoid a lengthy waiting period, which can increase the difficulty that the student is experiencing.”
“The Associate Director will provide clinical supervision and some direct service to students, as well as overseeing our Counselling and Disability Services,” says Dr. Condra. “This will allow me to spend more time developing and expanding the delivery of mental health awareness and response training to faculty, staff, dons and student leaders.”
A new 45–minute information session on how to recognize and help students in distress will be offered to staff, instructors, TAs, faculty and any campus group that requests it. It’s being provided to the 2011-2012 Alma Mater Society (AMS) employees as part of their training this week.
The University is also participating in a pilot program of The Jack Project, an organization dedicated to helping youth achieve optimum mental health. The Jack Project was established by the Windeler family after their son Jack, died of suicide in his first year at Queen’s. The pilot aims to build “the most comprehensive, effective and inclusive mental health model of care and best practices toolbox in Canada.”
“I am so appreciative of all of the offers of support we continue to receive, both internally and from external sources,” says John Pierce, Associate V-P and Dean of Student Affairs.
“We are continuing to look at best practices across the sector and gain valuable knowledge from experts in the mental health field across Canada. University-aged students are particularly vulnerable and Queen’s, like other universities, is committed to doing all we can to enhance the health, well-being and success of our students.”
One in four university-aged Canadians will experience a mental health issue -- most commonly stress, anxiety and depression. One in 10,000 may die of suicide.