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PAC-SMH Report and Recommendations

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Communications Assistant
Mon, 03/12/2018 - 12:45

Since spring term 2017, we have been working with University of Waterloo administration, mental health professionals, and campus and community partners on the President’s Advisory Committee on Student Mental Health (PAC-SMH); today, the recommendations from that committee have been announced and the University will be hosting an interactive forum on the committee’s report at 2 p.m. on March 14 at Federation Hall.

As representatives for UWaterloo undergrads, we brought the concerns of our student body to the Committee and worked to keep them at the forefront of discussions around mental health on campus.

We are confident in the work we have been doing with PAC-SMH. Already, we have seen the approval of seven additional mental health professionals as a result of PAC-SMH recommendations, bringing us up to the industry standard of one counsellor per 1,000 students. The addition of three full-time staff roles dedicated to prevention and wellness efforts have also been created. As important as it is to have strong front-line services available to students, we must equally focus and increase prevention and wellness efforts on campus. The roles listed above are only the beginning of the work that needs to be done to improve our campus wellness services and prevention practices. The release of the report’s recommendations is by no means the end of the conversation as we strive to make further improvements in addressing student mental health on campus.

Students play a vital role in changing campus culture on mental health. We encourage all undergrads to read the recommendations and to attend the forum on March 14. There you will have the chance to hear more about the recommendations within the PAC-SMH report and to ask questions or provide feedback.

To read the full report and recommendations, please visit the University of Waterloo's website. We will continue to advocate to the University to ensure that students see tangible, timely, and effective outcomes from the recommendations. However, in order to effectively address concerns around mental health, students, staff, and faculty, need to come together as a community and proactively promote a caring, healthy campus culture.

For more information on the report’s recommendations and Feds advocacy efforts to address mental health on campus, please contact Feds president Antonio Brieva.