I’m in my fourth year and throughout the years, I’ve heard a lot of divided opinions about mental health resources on campus. From people saying they’ve had great experiences with accessing them to people struggling to access a counsellor or support at school. Last week, I participated in a National Standard for Mental Health consultation. It’s a session that allows U of T students to discuss their experiences with these mental health resources and it’s the perfect platform to share concerns, ideas, or questions.
So what happened in the session? A team of health promotion staff ask a list of questions regarding services from Health and Wellness, experiences with registrar and academic resources, and even experience with clubs! They’re all open-ended questions and you can answer as briefly or extensively as you want. One great takeaway was how they provided a list of student life services to complement those who struggled to access them.
When it comes to mental health, I’m fairly open about discussing my personal experiences being on campus. I think it helps them to get a better picture for how the setbacks of mental health policies affect students and allows U of T to improve whatever issues have been raised. As I said before, you don’t have to disclose information you’re uncomfortable telling, although being more open goes a long way and they were very responsive to me.
Throughout the session I did have one burning question: Where does this discussion go? More importantly, are people at Health and Wellness observing this student feedback? The health promotion team told me they’re drawing up a consensus of student opinions and suggestions and the Director of Health and Wellness St. George would be looking at the feedback. There’s an interest to expand programs and improve on existing resources. With that, I think it’s completely worthwhile to give your thoughts about mental health to people who are listening to their students. Sessions for National Standard for Mental Health are running until November 12th. Visit the website for more information and to book a session, there’s plenty of spots available!