As university graduates walk across the stage and receive their diplomas this commencement season, we are pleased to share Kim Samuel’s latest article, “A Holistic Systems Approach To Mental Health On Campus”.
At McGill University, where Kim taught last fall, she saw first-hand how difficult it can be for students to cope with the immense challenges of university life. And McGill is by no means the exception. Rates of campus counseling centre use, ‘threat-to-self’ characteristics, and student reports of overwhelming anxiety are on the rise in post-secondary institutions in Canada and around the world, while administration, students, faculty and other personnel struggle to address this fast-growing epidemic. In order for the campus mental health crisis to subside, Kim believes universities need a systems change that rejects silos and replaces patterns of individual circles with a holistic approach. Coming together as one whole university community of people, she argues a “caring campus” can be built, one which acknowledges the equal importance of mental health to academics and recognizes students as the definers and drivers of the change that needs to happen.