University of Calgary

Online forum: Have your say on student mental health and addiction services

UToday HomeMay 22, 2013

By Casey Blais and Melissa Lackey

The SU Wellness Centre is looking for input from the University of Calgary community about services and programs that support student mental health.

To promote this conversation, all faculty members, staff and students are invited to take part in an online forum from May 21 to June 7 to discuss mental health programs and addiction support on campus.

Through the online forum, participants will be able to vote on ideas and engage in discussion with other forum members. While a login with a University of Calgary email account is required, the forum allows individuals to post anonymously.

“This online forum is a great opportunity for us to engage our community to gather feedback. There are more people with mental health issues than the numbers show and it is important for us to look for opportunities to reach a greater breadth of students,” says Debbie Bruckner, director of the SU Wellness Centre.

According to statistics collected by the SU Wellness Centre, last year saw an increase in the number of students who sought help for anxiety, depression, trauma/abuse, addictions and psychiatric concerns. The most common reasons students seek professional help include relationship issues, anxiety, depression and sense of self.

This initiative is one step to gathering feedback regarding the use of funding provided by the provincial government to help promote mental health and support students. It also provides an opportunity to find out more from faculty and staff about how they have been engaged to recognize and support students with difficulties.

In addition to the online forum, the SU Wellness Centre welcomes Dr. Heather Stuart on Thursday, June 27 at 7 p.m. for an evening keynote. Professor Stuart, MA (Sociology), PhD (Epidemiology), is a social-epidemiologist specializing in the broad area of psychiatric epidemiology, with a specific focus on mental health related stigma and discrimination. She is also the inaugural holder of the Bell Canada Chair in Mental Health and Anti-stigma Research. Visit the SU Wellness Centre website for more information.

 

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