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Mental health committee releases first report

Mental Health Report
Queen's students walk along University Avenue on Thursday. The Provost’s Advisory Committee on Mental Health has released its first annual report to the university community. University Communications

The Provost’s Advisory Committee on Mental Health (PACMH) has released its first annual report to the university community, highlighting Queen’s accomplishments and making recommendations for action over the next two years.

“Student mental health remains a priority for Queen’s and we continue to work to create a campus community that fosters wellness and encourages help-seeking behaviour,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “The PACMH plays an important role in continuing the work of the Principal’s Commission on Mental Health.”

The PACMH was created last year to oversee the implementation of recommendations of the Principal’s Commission on Mental Health (PCMH). Queen’s has already implemented many of the PCMH’s recommendations and other initiatives to promote mental health, including the launch of academic support programs like Q Success and Bounce Back, increased service capacity at Health, Counselling and Disability Services, and an Anti-Stigma Workshops in Residence program.

The 16 recommendations identified as priorities for assessment and action over the next two years include considering the establishment of a dedicated exam centre and distributing mental health referral information for faculty to share with students at the start of their classes.

The report also outlines results from the 2013 National College Health Assessment Student Survey. Queen’s was one of 32 Canadian post-secondary institutions that participated in the North American study. More than 90 per cent of Queen’s students surveyed said they felt “overwhelmed by all they had to do” at some point in the previous 12 months, and more than half said at some point they felt “things were hopeless.”

“The survey results are similar to the other Canadian institutions participating, and they underscore why promoting mental health remains vitally important,” says Deputy Provost Laeeque Daneshmend, chair of the PACMH. “The advisory committee will continue to work with its partners across campus to build a supportive and inclusive Queen’s community.”

The PCMH was established by Principal Woolf in September 2011 to assist the university in its ongoing efforts to be a proactive and responsive community that promotes every student’s success from the day they arrive through to graduation.

The full annual report of the PACMH is available on the Provost’s website.