Helping Ontario's colleges and universities enhance capacity to support student mental health and well-being

OUCHA 2014

In collaboration with Ontario University & College Health Association (OUCHA), the Centre for Innovation in Campus Mental Health (CICMH) hosted a day-long event to build a Community of Practice in order promote and support student mental health on Ontario campuses. The day brought together partners in student health services, counselling, student affairs, student leadership, faculty, and community agencies to explore the issues and engage in areas of shared concern.

CICMH co-led this event with OUCHA and CMHA BC’s Healthy Minds/Healthy Campuses. 80 post-secondary mental health stakeholders attended this session which used ‘open space technology’ to identify priority issues in campus mental health and co-create a learning agenda for CICMH’s online campus mental health community of practice (CoP).  

Eighteen priority issues were identified by delegates:

  1. How to handle students’ threatening behavior towards counselling/health services staff?
  2. How to engage faculty as ‘first responders’ in supporting student mental health?
  3. How to reduce stigma around mental health concerns in post-secondary settings?
  4. How are campuses addressing mental health strategy development?
  5. As leaders, how do we best support our campus service providers when they are stretched very thin?
  6. How do we promote ‘sleep education and supports’ for students when we have minimal resources?
  7. How do we ensure equal access to service as we raise awareness and increase workload without an increase in funds/resources?
  8. How can we get more funding?
  9. How to engage students to collaborate/work with health departments to promote health on campus?
  10. How can we increase engagement of our student body for mental health prevention and promotion?
  11. How to enhance access to students wanting/needing psychotherapy, given practical constraints?
  12. How to bring together college and university counsellors for knowledge exchange, shared learning, professional development and collaboration?
  13. How to increase collaboration with community services/resources?
  14. How do we support the best interests of students when they are not well enough to study?
  15. Promoting mental health and reducing stigma through student engagement, art and social media.
  16. Next steps for Ontario’s NCHA data
  17. How do we best serve the mental health needs of our international students? As individual institutions? As a provincial collaborative?
  18. How to speed up the diagnostic process when a counselor identifies a student with complex needs?

 These issues were discussed throughout the open space session and continued to be revisited on our Community of Practice.


Watch the video below to find out more!