Campuses integrate mental wellness into orientation events

September 12, 2011

With campus counselling services seeing more students seeking help for severe stress, loneliness, and depression, orientation organizers across Canada are taking the opportunity to emphasize mental wellness. The University of Alberta operates a tour of its mental-health services and mandatory sessions such an orientation panel, where older students talk about their common struggles and point the way to on-campus supports. Last Wednesday over 2,000 first-year University of Western Ontario students and their frosh leaders gathered around an outdoor stage for the One Love Rally, a show focused on diversity, mental wellness, and sexual health. The rally was tied to a new initiative that trained UWO's orientation leaders to watch students for signs of distress. Expanding its mental-health services, Queen's University held an opening-night orientation rally that advised students to expect more stress, and for the first time added its Peer Support Centre to its popular Tour the Town event. Globe and Mail