Keitha Riley, Destiny Soney, Michelle Nahdee, Stephanie Pangowish, Candy PalmaterKeitha Riley, Destiny Soney, Michelle Nahdee, and Stephanie Pangowish surround Campus Mental Health Day keynote speaker Candy Palmater, holding a medicine wheel of sweetgrass and tobacco — a gift from the Native Student Alliance.

Student Mental Health Strategy calls for $1.15 million investment

A capacity crowd of students was on hand Wednesday for UWindsor’s first annual Campus Mental Health Day to hear details of the school’s new Student Mental Health Strategy — the culmination of three years of campus consultation by a committee co-chaired by UWindsor interim president Douglas Kneale and associate vice-president student experience Ryan Flannagan.

In support of the strategy, the University will invest an additional $1.15 million over the next five years into projects to examine and improve mental health supports on campus. This funding includes two new full-time positions and resources for a new wellness fund.

“Our purpose in this strategy is to ‘foster a thriving University community that actively promotes mental well-being and supports students to flourish in both their personal and academic lives,’” said Dr. Kneale.

“Today we commit to that purpose. I extend my warmest thanks to Ryan Flannagan and the entire team of colleagues who have brought this strategy to life.”

The aim of the strategy is to place greater emphasis on promoting student mental health through a range of proactive and preventative wellness activities, and implementing actions to prevent mental illness in students who are at risk. The University will also improve upon its existing commitment to counselling services and other direct interventions for students struggling with wellness challenges.

Find the full list of almost 40 recommendations in the strategy document, posted to the Wellness at UWindsor website.

Wednesday’s event — held in Alumni Auditorium — included remarks by student, faculty, and support committee members, as well as a keynote address by Candy Palmater, executive producer of three films on Mi’kmaw culture and an activist, actor, writer, comedian, and television and radio personality.