Mental health strategy in the works

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By Harlan Nemerofsky

Nine months into their first year of operation, the Mental Health Advisement Committee (MHAC) has big aspirations. Reporting to the vice president of academic and finance and the provost, the team is trying to develop the first-ever comprehensive mental health strategy for Ryerson.

“Our goal is to try to create supportive environments and programs for students, staff, and faculty,” says the committee’s co-chair, Dr. Su-Ting Teo. She is also the director of Health and Wellness at Ryerson.

The committee is trying to create four working sub-groups to address different strands of mental health services. The four working groups are: awareness, training and education; curriculum and pedagogy; policies and procedures; and services and programs. So far, the reaction has been positive – between 75 and 100 students, faculty and staff members have applied to join the committee’s four sections.

“We are just in the process of confirming the membership for those working groups,” said Teo.

“But we’ve actually had a lot of interest for people to join. And so we sort of need to make a decision on how to move forward.”

Teo said that although the group has no specific events planned, she hopes the working groups will create a dedicated line of communication between student concerns and accessibility policies.

“This year’s work is about doing an environmental scan to see what’s happening on campus, doing a gap analysis to see what maybe needs to happen, and then creating an action plan on how to implement that,” she said. “Year two will be actually implementing the plan.”

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