Campus Mental Health Initiative
Inspiring and nurturing healthy and imaginative learners, educators and cultured citizens of the world.
Mental health and wellness affects all members of the OCAD University community: staff; faculty and students alike. Mental health is a multi-faceted concept and can be viewed as a resource for everyday life, shaping and contributing to the highs and lows of people’s day-to-day experiences. In the post-secondary setting, students embark on a unique journey, navigating through a chapter of their lives that is enriched with academic learning, new connections, life transitions, and personal and professional growth. This is a time filled with great achievement and challenges and potentially new and evolving experiences with mental health and wellness.
OCAD U is demonstrating its leadership in post-secondary mental health by actively working with its members and community partners to design innovative initiatives that promote a creative and flourishing campus environment.
The OCAD U Mental Health Steering Committee is an active working group that was assembled in 2012 to design and implement a proactive response to mental health issues on campus and promote a healthy campus community overall. The Steering Committee represents the university’s commitment to establishing and sustaining a systemic, adaptive, and human-centered response through the development of a comprehensive mental health strategy. The Committee receives great support from the OCAD University - Ryerson University Campus Mental Health partnership project, funded by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.
OCAD U Mental Health Steering Committee Terms of Reference: (2013-08-01):
A working document describing the roles and responsibilities of the Committee.
COMMITTEE ACTIVITIES ON CAMPUS
How can we create a campus that not only supports mental wellness, but also enables students, staff, faculty and staff to thrive? We want students to direct our work in making positive changes on campus. And, we want those changes to work for students. The Steering Committee has engaged in several activities to help gather information and understanding around mental health and wellness issues on campus:
- NCHA Data: In Spring 2013, OCAD U conducted the American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment. This survey collects health data about students on campus and will be used to inform mental health initiative development.
- Open Dialogues: An open feedback session around mental health and wellbeing was hosted in 2012 with the entire OCAD U Community. Two follow up open discussions around mental health and wellbeing were facilitated in Fall 2013 by spoken word/dub poet, write, artist, activist and OCAD U creative writing professor Lillian Allen. In October and November 2013, student-only and community wide dialogues were hosted, respectively.
- Outcomes of the dialogues: 2012 Report Back (PDF) 2013
- Report Back from Student Dialogue (PDF) 2013
- Report Back from Community Dialogue (PDF) 2013
- Open Dialogue Main Poster (Downloadable image) 2013
- Open Dialogue Student Poster (Downloadable image) 2013
- Open Dialogue Student Staff Faculty Poster (Downloadable image)
- Feedback Forms: Several Feedback Forms were made available for anonymous and written feedback from OCADians in Fall 2013 regarding themes related to mental health and wellbeing on campus. These results will be compiled with the Open Dialogue information.
- SPECTRUM Exhibit: Spectrum: A Vision for Mental Health was held in Spring 2013 and its aim was to promote creative expression and conversations about mental health and wellbeing on campus. The Steering Committee will use the material submitted to the exhibition for documentation and information gathering. This information will help the Committee understand how to design a healthier campus environment that can better respond to mental health and well-being at OCAD U.