Presidential & Provostial Task Force on Student Mental Health

Overview


In a letter to students, faculty, and staff on March 28, President Gertler announced that the University will implement a four-part plan of action on student mental health and wellness: 1) convene a Presidential and Provostial Task Force on Student Mental Health; 2) utilize the Undergraduate Student Educational Experience (USEE) Expert Panel and School of Graduate Studies (SGS) consultations on student experience as a foundation for enhancing the culture of support for students; 3) engage with our partners in the health system in the Toronto region to better serve students with mental illness; and 4) redouble efforts to impress upon the provincial government the need to provide significantly more resources for university student mental health.

To initiate part one of this plan, the University is convening the Presidential & Provostial Task Force on Student Mental Health. The Task Force will build upon the progress underway on the priorities identified in the Student Mental Health Framework. The full mandate of the Task Force is outlined in its Terms of Reference.

Membership


Chair:

  • Professor Trevor Young, Vice-Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine

Students:

  • Egag Egag, MSW Student, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work
  • Jayson Jeyakanthan, University of Toronto Mississauga
  • Corey McAuliffe, PhD Candidate, Dalla Lana School of Public Health
  • Aurora Nowicki, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering

Faculty:

  • Chloe Hamza, Assistant Professor, Applied Psychology & Human Development, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
  • William Ju, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Human Biology Program, Faculty of Arts & Science
  • Ruth Ross, Chair and Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine

Administrative Staff:

  • Elsie Obeng-Kingsley, Student Welfare Case Coordinator, University of Toronto Scarborough
  • Melinda Scott, Dean of Students, University College, University of Toronto
  • Sherry Yuan Hunter, Associate Registrar, University of Toronto Mississauga

Senior Assessors:

  • Professor Sandy Welsh, Vice-Provost, Students
  • Professor Joshua Barker, Vice-Provost, Graduate Research & Education and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies

Project Support:

In addition to the Task Force core membership, we are pleased that Bonnie Kirsh, Professor, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, and Caroline Rabbat, Director, Critical Incidents, Safety & Health Awareness, Faculty of Arts & Science have both agreed to serve as Outreach and Engagement Co-Leads. They will chair the in-person outreach and engagement sessions that will take place throughout the summer and fall.

Staff members in the Office of the Vice-Provost, Students, will provide support for the Task Force: Katie Bobra, Assistant Director, Health Promotion and Strategic Projects, Jeff Burrow, Manager, Assessment & Analysis, Student Life, and Cheryl Gibbs, Assistant Director, Office of the Vice-Provost, Students.

Timeline


The Task Force’s will begin its work in Spring 2019 and provide recommendations to the President & Provost by December 2019. Further information will be released on this page as it becomes available.

Questions about the Mental Health Task Force can be sent to studentmentalhealth@utoronto.ca

Outreach & Engagement


On May 31, we posted a Draft Outreach and Engagement Plan and invited all members of the University community to review it and provide feedback to help inform how the Task Force connects with stakeholders. The Feedback period closed June 21, 2019.

Thank you to everyone who provided comments; the Task Force has reviewed the suggestions and posted an updated version of the Outreach & Engagement Plan on this site. We will continue to update this as dates are confirmed and as any new items are added.

Online Consultation Form


The first phase of the Outreach & Engagement Plan is to launch the Online Consultation Form that will be open from July 12, 2019 – October 15, 2019.  All members of the University Community are invited to provide comments and recommendations on the Task Force’s four key areas of student mental health via the Online Consultation Form. Note: the Four Key areas are listed on the Form and outlined in the Task Force Terms of Reference.  

In-person Consultations – on each campus


Task Force Led Student, Staff & faculty Engagement Sessions

The second phase of the Outreach & Engagement Plan is to hold in-person sessions August – October. All members of the University community are invited to share feedback and recommendations at in-person open consultation sessions on each campus in September (details below). A separate session will be held for students, faculty, and staff respectively on these days. These sessions are open, no registration required.

If you have any questions about the in-person open outreach and engagement sessions, please contact studentmentalhealth@utoronto.ca

University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) – Sept. 18

Location: UTSC Student Centre, 1265 Military Trail, Room SL232

  • Faculty: 10:00am – 11:15am
  • Students: 11:45am – 1:00pm
  • Staff: 1:30pm – 2:45pm

University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) – Sept. 19

Location: UTM Council Chamber, Davis Building, 1867 Inner Circle, Room DV3130

  • Faculty: 10:00am – 11:15am
  • Students: 11:45am – 1:00pm
  • Staff: 1:30pm – 2:45pm

University of Toronto St. George (UTSG) – Sept. 24

Location: UTSG Michael Charles Chamber, Galbraith Building, 35 St. George Street, Room GB202

  • Students: 12:00pm – 1:30pm
  • Staff: 2:00pm – 3:15pm
  • Faculty: 3:30pm – 4:45pm

Innovation Hub Led – Student Engagement Sessions

In addition to the focus groups and open campus sessions led by the Outreach & Engagement Co-Leads, the Task Force has partnered with the Innovation Hub at U of T to run student feedback sessions. For more information on these sessions and how they will be conducted see the Innovation hub blog post: Gathering Student Voices on Mental Health.

Note: These sessions are registration based; if you experience technical difficulty registering for any session, please feel free to show up to the event. Please see details in the table below.

Campus DateTimeLocationRegistration Link
UTSC Innovation Hub Student SessionWed. Sept. 183:30pm – 5:00pmBladen Wing, BV264Registration Link for – Sept. 18
UTM Innovation Hub Student SessionThurs. Sept. 193:00pm – 4:30pmSpigel Hall, Davis Building, DV 1102Registration Link for Sept. 19
St. George Innovation Hub Student Session #1Wed. Sept. 244:00pm – 5:30pmSidney Smith Hall, SS 1087Registration Link for Sept. 24
St. George Innovation Hub Student Session #2Thurs. Sept. 2512:00p – 1:30pmWoodsworth College, WW 126Registration Link for Sept. 25
St. George Innovation Hub Student Session #3Fri. Sept. 273:00pm – 4:30pmBahen Centre, BA 2175Registration Link for Sept. 27
St. George Innovation Hub Student Session #4 Sat. Sept. 2810:00am – 11:30amOISE, OI 5250Registration Link for Sept. 28

2019 Minds Redefined – Mental Health & Wellness Conference

The Faculty of Arts & Science invites students, faculty, staff and alumni to this inaugural conference on mental health and wellness featuring keynote presentation from Michael Landsberg and Margaret Trudeau. As a community, we will hear from experts and advocates in the field, develop wellness strategies, explore campus and community resources, and engage in discussions that showcase research, lived experiences and diverse voices.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019
12:00pm – 8:00pm
U of T Chestnut Conference Centre
(89 Chestnut Street, Toronto)

In partnership with the Presidential & Provostial Task Force on Student Mental Health, the conference will include two outreach & engagement sessions:

Student Voices – Undergraduate Listening Sessions2:15p m- 3:30pm
Student Voices – Graduate Listening Sessions3:45pm – 5:00pm

Free to the U of T community
Attendees are welcome to attend the conference in full or in part.
For more information and to register: https://www.artsci.utoronto.ca/mindsredefined

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