Queen's partners with The Jack Project on pilot initiative
Queen’s is one of 12 post-secondary education institutions participating in a national pilot project that aims to support student mental health and wellness.
The pilot is an initiative of The Jack Project, an organization dedicated to helping youth achieve optimum mental health. It was established by the Windeler family after their son Jack died of suicide in his first year at Queen’s in 2010.
“We welcome the opportunity to work collaboratively with The Jack Project, its outreach team and mental health professionals,” says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs, who represented Queen’s at the post-secondary education launch of the project today in Toronto. “We will integrate the Jack Project plans, workshops and presentations with the work already being done at Queen’s to further promote dialogue about mental health on campus.”
Queen’s participation in The Jack Project is one of many mental health programs that are underway at the university. The Principal’s Commission on Mental Health at Queen’s is looking at what’s happening on campus and what can be done to enhance the student experience, promote student mental health and improve supports for students in need. The commission continues to meet with community members and will make recommendations to Principal Daniel Woolf next spring.
The university has had a Mental Health Working Group in place since 2007, and it made additional counselling services and supports available for student this fall.
Queen’s students are also raising awareness on campus about mental health issues. They are selling green T-shirts to help fight mental health stigma. Queen’s Wears Green organizers have planned a rally and breakfast at the Athletics and Recreation Centre on November 4 with several speakers including The Jack Project founder Eric Windeler and Lorne Zon, chief executive officer of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario.
“We are really happy with the support we have already received from the campus community,” says Commerce Society President Kelsey Paterson. “We had 600 T-shirts preordered. We want students to know they can talk about these issues. There shouldn’t be a stigma.”