Re: U of C needs to make student needs a priority
Students for Direct Action is a group that is very passionate about mental health supports for students.
Their letter of Oct. 30 — “U of C needs to make student needs a priority” — asks for administrative support for student mental health. Since this letter, we have met a small number of students who are now concerned that they cannot approach Student Wellness Services, worried that we could not assist them.
We want to assure the campus that supports are available. Our collaborative care model offers a number of alternatives for students seeking assistance. We offer a wide variety of services to meet the needs of students in a holistic way, including daily peer support, groups, educational workshops, mindfulness training, opportunities to meet with chaplains, after-hours telephone supports, one-on-one and group counselling, social work support and a medical clinic. Our website — www.ucalgary.ca/wellness-services – lists the range and breadth of services we offer.
We have a total of 26 mental health specialists: six health promotion staff, eight social workers, nine counsellors, a consulting psychiatrist and two behavioural health consultants (through the primary care network). Additionally, during the Fall and Winter academic terms we have extended hours from 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Monday to Thursday to better serve students and to increase accessibility.
Recent results from the 2019 National College Assessment Survey illustrate that our students are increasing help-seeking behaviors and seeking mental health assistance earlier. In the most recent Maclean’s University Rankings 2020, UCalgary improved in the mental health services indicator for the student satisfaction ranking by two positions to #8.
A large number of students have engaged in mental health training, believing in the power of connecting with one another, building community, and facilitating referrals to other mental health supports. If you, or someone you know, are struggling and need support, please contact us as 403.210.9355 to make an appointment or stop by Wellness Services in MSC 370.
—Student Wellness Services
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