Better Mental Health Services at the University of Toronto

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In light of the recent loss of our fellow Univeristy of Toronto student, who took their own life in the Bahen Centre, we have realised that something must be done. With the near-constant pressure to strive for academic perfection, the added stresses of recent changes to OSAP funding, and the many other issues surrounding us today, many students are struggling. They desperately want and are in need of help, but at U of T, it can seem like there is nowhere to turn.

We have a goal of highlighting the issues surrounding mental health awareness and services at UofT, as well as ways that we can implement change to improve these services.

Specifically, one of the most immediate issues is the lack of availability of appointments at the student Health and Wellness Centre. The current wait times reach well into April, and this is simply unacceptable. For students who can barely struggle to survive until the next day (let alone two weeks), getting an appointment or being able to talk to someone could literally be a matter of life and death. We are looking to the Executive Director of the Health and Wellness Centre, Janine Robb, as well as to the President of U of T, Meric Gertler, in order to address these issues by providing more opportunities for students to seek out mental health services, including 1) working to decrease wait times by providing more staff at the Health and Wellness Centre (or finding a more appropriate solution, if this is not an option), and 2) better and more accessible mental health programs and support groups hosted by Accessibility Services or the Health and Wellness Centre. 

The first step in achieving these goals would be having the opportunity to organise a meeting Janine Robb, in which we could actively discuss ways to better mental health services at U of T.