CHANGE FOR MCMASTERS MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT SYSTEM
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Since when did mental health become a determining factor for students to stay on residence?
Hello, I am a first year student currently attending McMaster University. I created this petition in hopes to address the poor way in which the university handles situations involving mental health issues among their students.
I have recently been told that I am no longer allowed to live on residence due to personal issues involving my mental health. Over the course of first year, I have struggled with issues such as anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
I have made the efforts to reach out for help on campus with the different resources they provide. But up until recently, I was told that the university could no longer offer any more support to me and that there is nothing more they can do to help.
It is as if my efforts have been disregarded, as their reasoning for my departure was that I have created a safety concern for those around me, and that I have created negative implications specifically for my friends. The university also does not want to be held liable for any unfortunate events that could happen on residence.
I am disappointed to find a school who seemingly prides itself in 'supporting all its members in feeling valued and respected', are still willing to kick students out of their residence buildings based upon every day issues surrounding mental health. It is situations like these that contribute to the stigma that exists around mental health today.
I feel as if my education and mental health are not being supported in these matters, in fact I feel as if they are not valued or respected at all.
If individuals at McMaster university can easily give up on their students by sending them away, what message are they sending to others? The only message I can think of is to give up yourself.
Some form of change is needed here as mental health is an issue that touches us all in some shape or form. If mental health is really a determining factor for students to live on residence, I truly believe that there would be very few students left to live there.
The university needs to focus on encouraging students, by teaching them that it is never okay to give up and that you must keep fighting because there will always be support.
This petition is not to discredit the university, as their counselling services have been quite helpful. But it is not enough. More support needs to be implemented for our students on campus. We need working staff in residence and current support systems to be more considerate of student needs.
This petition is not for me, but for all those whose mental health issues are disregarded on campus. It is for those who feel that they are less of a person for suffering from panic attacks, anxiety, and depression. You are not any less of a person for struggling with mental issues. Everyone on campus deserves to feel supported and valued, no matter what the circumstances are.
I feel that it is important to spread this issue, and I strongly believe that the university should properly compensate for their actions. Mental health should never define or diminish you, and it certainly should not determine whether or not you should be living on campus.
Please sign my petition and spread this issue, because there is power in numbers; those who are suffering and going through a challenging time should never feel alone.
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