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 convened 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.

Outreach & Engagement


Thank you to everyone who participated in the Outreach & Engagement activities. We truly appreciate your feedback.

To support our work and engage the University of Toronto community, the Presidential & Provostial Task Force on Student Mental Health embarked on an extensive consultation plan in July 2019. Phases 1 and 2 of the Outreach & Engagement Plan involved in-person focus group and open campus listening sessions; an online feedback form; and student-led Innovation Hub feedback sessions. In addition to this, the Task Force visited the three campus health centres.

Phase 3: This is what we heard: did we miss anything?

Phase 3 of the Outreach & Engagement Plan involved sharing a summary of broad themes that we heard during the consultations so far and inviting all members of the University community to provide further feedback. The themes will inform the Task Force’s report and recommendations for the President and Provost in December 2019.

We posted a Draft Summary of Themes on this site for review for feedback online and at in-person events in November. The final version of the themes will be shared on this site in December, as the Task Force prepares its report.

Phase 3: Online Consultation Form

Thank you for your interest in providing feedback on the draft themes. The Online Form was November 7 – November 25, 2019. All members of the University Community are invited to provide comments on the themes.

Phase 3: In-person pop-up events

The Task Force was happy to partner once again with the Innovation Hub at U of T to run student-led feedback sessions. These events were held across the three campuses during the week of November 11-15. No registration was required for these pop-up events, which took place in open, high-traffic spaces. Students, staff, and faculty members were invited to stop by at any point during the pop-up event to offer feedback and participate in related activities.

These events provide interactive opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to review and respond to the Draft Summary of Themes. Learn more about the Innovation Hub’s approach to these events in their Nov. 6 blog post.

CampusDateTimeLocation
St. George Pop-up event #1Mon. Nov. 112:00pm – 5:00pmBahen Centre Lobby
St. George Pop-up event #2 Tues. Nov. 12 11:00am – 2:00pm Sid Smith Lobby
St. George Pop-up event #3 Wed. Nov. 13 11:00am – 2:00pm Medical Sciences Building (MSB) Stone Lobby
UTM Pop-up eventThurs. Nov. 14 11:00am – 2:00pm Communication Culture & Technology (CCT) Atrium
UTSC Pop-up eventFri. Nov. 15 2:00pm – 5:00pm Student Centre near SCSU office

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

Related Documents & Resources