TORONTO, March 26, 2013 /CNW/ - Ontario universities are committed to
supporting good mental health for our students, and the Council of
Ontario Universities (COU) applauds initiatives announced today by the
province to boost services and promote healthy minds.
"Universities are committed to providing the best possible learning
experience for our students and it is vital that we ensure support for
students facing challenges from mental health issues," says Alastair
Summerlee, Chair of COU and President of the University of Guelph.
"We commend the government for providing this new level of support for
Bonnie M. Patterson, COU President and CEO, says Ontario universities
are working hard to prevent mental health issues, and to help students
deal with them by creating healthy learning and work environments that
are critical to promoting health in individuals and the broader
"We know that the majority of students are in the demographic most
likely to experience the onset of mental illnesses, and so we welcome
these government initiatives that will help us provide good care for
our future leaders," says Patterson.
Ontario universities have seen an increase on campuses in both the
complexity and number of students with mental health issues. Statistics
Canada reports youth aged 15-24 are most likely to suffer from mood
disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety, personality disorders (including
eating disorders), first onset psychosis, suicidal behaviours or
The government's proposed new measures including a 24-hour hotline for
postsecondary students and a centre for innovation in campus mental
health were announced today by Training, Colleges and Universities
Minister Brad Duguid. The centre will be run in partnership by the COU,
Colleges Ontario, the College Student Alliance, the Ontario
Undergraduate Student Alliance and the Canadian Mental Health
Association, Ontario Division.
COU is a membership organization of Ontario's 20 publicly assisted
universities and the Royal Military College of Canada. It works closely
with the provincial and federal governments to shape public policies
that help universities deliver high-quality programs for students, and
the research and innovation that improves the social, cultural and
economic well-being of Ontarians.
The Canada Campus Survey reports that youth, aged 15-24, are the most likely demographic to
suffer from certain mental disorders or substance dependency problems
The Canada Campus Survey reports that students are more likely to suffer from psychological
distress than the general population, or the general youth demographic.
Visit the Council of Ontario Universities website at www.cou.on.ca
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SOURCE: Council of Ontario Universities
For further information:
Director, Strategic Communications & Media Relations
T: 416-979-2165 ext. 233