Student mental health a focus for CSU

New substantive mental health strategy for the campus, currently in development phase

Laura Melczer // Contributor

“What do you do to take care of your mental health?”

It looks like a simple question or a listicle a friend might share on Facebook. There is an added importance to ensuring that university students are taking care of their mental health, especially because students face an intense form of stress and pressure. With what feels like a never-ending amount of papers, projects and exams, stress can be high.

Mental Illness Awareness Week ran from Oct. 1 to 7. The week is used as a tool to help share information and is focused on public education about the realities of living with a mental illness.

Often presented by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health, the week consists of events coordinated with associated organizations to spread awareness about life with mental health issues. The initiative also provides education about where to access resources and works towards ending the stigma around mental health illnesses.

Despite a lack of major events held on campus during Mental Illness Awareness Week, there were posts on social media coming from the Capilano Students’ Union (CSU) talking about how students can take care of their mental health. The lack of events on campus for the week, which would be organized partially by the CSU, was due to a mix of focus on other planning as well as a new board.

As Owen Sigurdsson, the CSU’s vice president equity and sustainability, explains, the “CSU is a busy place, and unfortunately this year there were no substantial events put on by the CSU for mental health week. It is unfortunate that no events were organized this year, and with a brand-new board, we are just getting into the motions of regular event planning.”

The lack of events coordinating with Mental Illness Awareness Week doesn’t mean that the mental health of students on campus is slipping through the cracks for the CSU. There are plans to ensure that students’ mental health and mental health awareness remain a part of the conversation all year round.

Sigurdsson added that, “we at the CSU, in particular, myself as well as the president, Perry Safari, and our Accessibility Justice Coordinator Andrew Dillman, have been hard at work at developing a substantive mental health strategy for the student union and its satellites and events.”

The comprehensive resources from Capilano University’s Counselling and Learning Support Services, along with the CSU’s new strategy once it gets released, will emphasize and organize events surrounding the mental health of students across campus.


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