Queen's community reflects on student deaths

April 8, 2011

In just over a year, Queen's University has lost 6 of its students, at least 2 to suicide, touching off soul-searching among students and professors, and prompting administration to acknowledge that something must be done. "I don't think we've been nearly open enough about it and talk about it," says Queen's principal Daniel Woolf. "If there's anything good to come out of this, it will be to put mental health at the forefront and take it out of the shadows." Thursday saw a student-led response to the deaths called "Queen's Loves U," which grew out of a Facebook page created by a third-year student. The event featured tables where people could write open letters to the Queen's community. Some students argue the university must put more resources into mental-health programs; Queen's, however, says it is improving. Administrators are reviewing front-line services to make them more efficient, and are considering giving graduate TAs mental-health training so they can identify students who may need help and refer them to counsellors. The Alma Mater Society has seen a surge this year in demand for its peer support services, and is looking at assigning counsellors to residences. Globe and Mail | Queen's News Centre | Principal's Blog | Video Message to the Queen's Community