Campuses must partner with external health services to tackle mental health issues

April 30, 2014

An article in The Globe and Mail questions the role that universities should play in their students’ mental health. Joe Henry, Associate Dean of Student Success at Sheridan College, writes that universities are already significantly burdened by an “exponential rise” in students who are wrestling with mental health issues. While Henry says that universities must be a part of a treatment solution, he says that they cannot be solely responsible. Instead he suggests that universities must strengthen their relationships with external agencies and community health centres. “As partners,” he writes, “we should focus our efforts at promoting the idea of resilience through normalizing the anxieties faced by students instead of diagnosing a condition.” Henry notes that the system is currently too fragmented to effectively help these students, and progress will require clear definitions of the university’s strengths and limitations as a partner in mental health. Globe and Mail