In the last issue of Mental Health Notes, we shared exciting news about the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario (CMHA Ontario) and our lead role in running the Centre for Innovation on Campus Mental Health, in partnership with Collleges Ontario, the Council of Ontario Universities, the College Student Alliance and the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance.
The project will be housed at CMHA Ontario and will run for two years with funds provided by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. The objectives of the project include:
- Establish a Community of Practice (CoP). The Community of Practice will engage multi-disciplinary service providers within the campus environment to share best practices, foster enhanced collaboration to improve mental health services for students, and promote mutual support to reduce burnout in post-secondary service providers. The CoP will also engage a larger community of students, staff and faculty with an interest in campus mental health.
- Increase access to mental health specialists. The Centre will coordinate new ways to increase college and university service providers’ access to mental health specialists in support of students with complex needs.
- Create innovative new approaches to address campus mental health. The Centre will establish a “change lab” to pilot new approaches for addressing campus mental health that utilize social innovation and design lab methods. These approaches foster collaborative, intersectoral action through collective problem solving.
We are also pleased to announce that Catherine Willinsky has been recruited as the Project Director. Ms. Willinsky will commence work on May 6, after which two additional staff will be hired to support the project.
CMHA Ontario is honoured to participate in this important initiative and looks forward to working with all of its partners in advancing the mental health of students on campus.