World’s first Standard aims to help Canada’s post-secondary institutions support positive mental health
The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) has released a new National Standard to guide the development of policies, procedures, and practices at post-secondary education institutions that promote positive student mental health and well-being.
The National Standard of Canada for Mental Health and Well-Being for Post-Secondary Students, the first of its kind in the world, is designed to enhance and expand strategies already in place by Canada’s universities, colleges, and polytechnics.
Developed by an expert technical committee over two years, the Standard was informed by extensive dialogues from coast to coast with students, post-secondary administrators, service providers, health agencies, governments, and persons with lived and living experience of mental illness.
“We recognize that the majority of mental illnesses are first diagnosed between the ages of 16 and 24, when many are in or just out of post-secondary education,” said Louise Bradley, president and CEO of the MHCC, which championed this work in collaboration with CSA Group, a global leader in standards development, with support from Bell Let’s Talk, The Rossy Foundation, The RBC Foundation, and Health Canada.
“Students may be experiencing even higher levels of stress and anxiety as the pandemic unfolds,” Bradley noted. “There is a clear and pressing need. The new Standard will help post-secondary institutions address this critical societal issue for our young people.”
The voluntary guidelines support numerous key outcomes, including:
- increased awareness about mental health and decreased stigma,
- healthier and safer institutional environments, and
- improved life and resiliency skills students can use at school, work, and in daily life.
Read the National Standard of Canada for Mental Health and Well-Being for Post-Secondary Students at mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/studentstandard.
- Access your copy of the Standard. Add it to your cart and create a CSA Store account to download it.
- Download the Starter Kit from the MHCC website
- Join the community to access supportive resources. Create a separate account to access the CSA community, where related resources are available in the Centre for Outreach, Resources, and Engagement (CORE).
The Centre for Innovation in Campus Mental Health is hosting a webinar called, “Getting started with the Student Standard within the COVID-19 context and beyond” on October 14th. Click here to learn more and to register.