Mental Health: It's time for a conversation

By Dale Johnson Posted: November 23, 2017 1:45 p.m.

The U of R wants to open up the conversation about mental health issues.
The U of R wants to open up the conversation about mental health issues. Photo: U of R photography

A recent survey of 44,000 post-secondary students in Canada finds that 20 per cent are depressed and anxious or battling other mental health issues. The study, by the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services, also finds that more students are reporting they are depressed or think of suicide compared with three years earlier.

As mental health gets increased recognition as a health problem, President and Vice-Chancellor Vianne Timmons will be discussing mental health issues with faculty, staff, and students over coffee, during an informal coffee and conversion session at the RIC Atrium on the morning of Friday November 24.

“When I was a student – and even in later years – mental health wasn’t something that was talked about a lot, and looking back, it is painful to think how many people suffered in silence. We can’t have that happening anymore. Talking about mental health takes these issues out of the shadows, helps people open up about their own challenges, and encourages them to reach out for help when needed,” says President Timmons.

The event is hosted by: fourth-year nursing students under the supervision of Cindy Kuster-Orban; UR Peers Helping Peers; Dr. Kent Klippenstine, Manager of Counselling Services; Dr. Esam Hussein, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science; and Doug Cripps, the Associate Dean (Undergraduate) of the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies.

“This collaborative group is committed to creating a positive and safe environment at our University. We owe them a great debt of thanks, because they are working together to build mental health awareness and promote positive mental health strategies for faculty, staff, and students,” says Timmons.

Everyone is welcome to attend, and join in the conversation or just listen to the discussion.

EVENT:            Dr. Timmons Mental Health Coffee Session

DATE:              Friday, November 24, 2017, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

LOCATION:     RIC Atrium