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

Posted on

Campus mental health policies across Canadian regions: Need for a national comprehensive strategy

Campus mental health policies across Canadian regions: Need for a national comprehensive strategy, published in Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne, reports a study that aims to examine the current state of campus mental health policies and procedures at Canadian postsecondary institutions and to compare policies among regions. This article, written by Elisea De Somma, Natalia Jaworska, Emma Heck, and Glenda MacQueen  lays the foundation for developing a campus mental health strategy framework that will be relevant to postsecondary institutions across Canada but can be adapted by provinces/territories.


 

The following is the abstract of the article:

Mental health issues are of growing concern on postsecondary campuses. Creating institutional policies targeting student mental health contributes to creating a supportive campus environment and is a major contributor to campus mental health. This study evaluated the current state of campus mental health policies at Canadian postsecondary institutions and compared them across regions. Policy-specific questions were extracted from a 54-item online survey of campus mental health and completed by respondents (mainly mental health frontline workers dealing directly with students) from Canada’s publicly funded postsecondary institutions. Data were analyzed in the aggregate and according to provinces/regions (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic Provinces [New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland], and Territories [Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut]). One hundred sixty-eight out of 180 institutions were represented (response rate, 96%; 274 respondents). In all geographic regions, Canadian postsecondary institutions were lacking in policies regarding mental health research, initiatives, and program evaluation. Ontario emerged as one of the national leaders in programs addressing suicide threat. In conclusion, this study is the first of its kind to compare mental health policy at postsecondary institutions across Canadian regions. Despite work in several jurisdictions, there is still a need for comprehensive strategies and policies that are inclusive of campus mental health.


The full version of Campus mental health policies across Canadian regions is published in Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne.