Recommendations for a comprehensive strategy on student mental health and wellness have been released in a recent report by Queen’s University. The report is the result of a year-long consultation process by the Principal’s Commission on Mental Health to be proactive on student wellness and success and to respond to a number of student deaths in 2010 and 2011.
The recommendations focus on four areas:
- Promoting a healthy community in academic and non-academic life,
- Building resilience at transition points for students,
- Encouraging help-seeking and helping behaviour and
- Providing effective response, service and care.
The commission’s work engaged the campus community as well as the broader communities in consultation over the past year. The Queen’s report was compiled by five commissioners and chaired by David Walker, a physician and former dean of health sciences.
The recommendations are framed to respond to the mental health needs of Queen’s students based in the provincial and national context, where the student-aged population has been shown to be one of the highest-risk age groups for mental illnesses and vulnerability to stress. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in Canadian youth, aged 10 to 24 years.
See “Student Mental Health and Wellness” at www.queensu.ca/cmh.