Supporting the mental well-being of our students remains a priority and I am pleased to share U of G’s newly published 2024 President’s Task Force on Student Mental Health Report.

Continuing U of G’s student mental health leadership, the President’s Task Force on Student Mental Health formed in January 2023 and was designed to engage the community and co-produce recommendations on how we can build on existing work, adapt initiatives for U of G, and propose actions to continue our efforts toward becoming a health-promoting university.

Based on the feedback received from these inputs, the Task Force compiled 40 recommendations that will advance U of G’s mission towards becoming a health-promoting university and documented these recommendations in the new Report.

This Report builds on the previous work of the Student Mental Health Committee that launched the initial Student Mental Health Framework in 2016, one of the first frameworks of its kind in the province. I would like to thank those involved in that work, as well as those on campus who already contribute to improving student mental health at U of G.

About the Report

The Task Force engaged 2,601 members of the U of G community across our Guelph, Guelph-Humber, and Ridgetown campuses through focus groups, in-person tabling sessions, online surveys, interviews and an open space conference. These inputs were used along with existing university data, published research evidence, and promising practices to compile recommendations for these student mental health recommendations.

From this data, the Task Force identified 40 recommendations that will drive meaningful enhancements and further evolve the “whole-of-the-University approach” that students will benefit from. The 40 recommendations have been aligned to the following categories:

  • Institutional structure: Organization, Planning, and Policy
  • Supportive and inclusive campus climate and environments
  • Mental health awareness and anti-stigma
  • Early identification and community capacity to respond to concerns
  • Student self-management and coping skills
  • Services and accessibility

To learn more about these categories and the actions that fall within them, check out the President’s Task Force on Student Mental Health Report and our new webpage that features all actions being taken.

Meet the Mental Health Steering Committee

With the Report complete, we now turn our focus to implementation. To enable progress on the 40 recommendations identified in the Report, the Student Mental Health Steering Committee has been developed with support from the Office of the President. As stewards for advancement, these individuals will work with many partners across campus to implement and deliver these actions to our students:

  • Alison Burnett (Co-chair)
  • Andrew Papadopoulos (Co-chair)
  • Byron Sheldrick, Associate Vice-President Academic
  • Joanne Emeneau, Associate University Secretary, Senate
  • Melinda Scott, Vice-Provost, Student Affairs

This steering committee is in the early stages, and we look forward to sharing progress updates with you as they become available.

Follow our journey

We are inviting our broader U of G community to follow along on our journey as we make progress against each of our objectives. Be sure to visit our webpage to get the latest on our progress.

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on the Report and who continue to enable the advancement of positive student mental health at U of G.

Charlotte A.B. Yates
President and Vice-Chancellor