The principal is committed to ensuring that the university continues to be a proactive and responsive community
that promotes every student’s success from the day they arrive through to graduation.
Student mental health is a serious and growing issue at universities and colleges in Canada and around the world, including Queen’s... As a community, we must strive to be proactive in seeking to provide a teaching and learning environment that supports our students in all facets of their lives, including their mental health.
Principal Daniel Woolf
Recent advances in student mental health projects and programs at the university include:
Principal’s Commission on Mental Health
In November 2012, the Principal’s Commission on Mental Health submitted a report to Principal Daniel Woolf and the Queen’s community. The report was the result of a year-long process that was based on comprehensive input from students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, mental health professionals and community members who generously gave their time to share their knowledge, experience, insight and ideas.
The university continues to enact change based on the report's 116 recommendations, framed within a four-level pyramidal framework for a mental health strategy for Queen’s:
- promoting a healthy community
- easing transitions and fostering resilience
- encouraging help-seeking and helping behaviour
- providing effective response, service and care
Learn more about the Principal's Commission on Mental Health...
The university received funding from the Ontario government’s Mental Health Innovation Fund for two research projects.
- The first, spearheaded by Mike Condra, Director, Queen’s Health, Counselling and Disability Services, resulted in the M2 Peer Mentoring Program, which includes resources that post-secondary institutions across Ontario can draw upon.
- The second project, led by Dr. Condra and Wanda Williams, Director of Student Services at St. Lawrence College, involves the development of province-wide documentation standards and guidelines for accommodating students with mental health disabilities.
Bell Lecture on Mental Health and Anti-Stigma
In 2013, Queen’s researcher Heather Stuart presented the inaugural Bell Lecture on Mental Health and Anti-Stigma in Toronto. Dr. Stuart, the Bell Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair in the Faculty of Health Sciences – a world-first – spoke about her research and the effects of the stigma associated with mental illness. The 2013 lecture included author James FitzGerald. In 2014, Dr. Stuart was joined by Barbara Crook, Artsci’79, Philanthropist and Mental Health Advocate.
With the support of an anonymous donor to the Initiative Campaign, Queen’s recently expanded its counselling support by placing professionals in more academic buildings across campus – in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, the Faculty of Education/West Campus and the School of Graduate Studies. They joined counsellors already in place in the John Deutsch University Centre, Queen’s School of Business and in residences.
Queen’s conferred an honorary degree to actress and mental health advocate Glenn Close at the 2013 spring convocation. A humanitarian with a broad range of interests, Ms. Close co-founded BringChange2Mind, an organization dedicated to eradicating the stigma and discrimination faced by those who struggle with mental illness. While on campus to accept her honorary degree, Ms. Close gave a public lecture and met with the university’s Mental Health Working Group.