At Western University, the conversation is only about to grow.
Just last semester, Western lost two students to suicide, which raised many questions surrounding mental health on campus.
Mitchell Pratt is the Social Sciences Student Council President at Western and has noticed that mental health resources on campus are not being utilized to the degree they could be. He believes the school is already equipped with adequate resources to serve students, they just need to be used more efficiently.
“Theres a long way to go in terms of obtaining the actual resources and funding for mental health initiatives on this campus. One of the largest issues is the confusion around the existing resources that are on campus available for students. We want to figure out how we can optimize these resources for the students themselves.”
Pratt presented a motion to council to include a question on the USC elections ballot which asks students whether or not they would like to see mental health and wellness included as a high priority in Western’s strategic plan.
Council voted unanimously to pass the motion, which means Western students will see the question on their ballots in February.
“It will give the mandate back to the students to represent where they want to see administration money go in terms of students experience. If Western consistently advertises itself as the best student experience, we need to evaluate if this is what we are seeing in our daily lives.”
Pratt explained that if mental health were to be made a priority on campus, it would look like more of a reactive measure. “There’s many different elements to the Western’s resources such as the Peer Support Centre, the Wellness Education Centre, and Student Services itself, but there needs to be a bit more coordination between the resources. More coordination will highlight where students are able to go to reduce any confusion at the end of the day.”
Western students will hear from various student leaders throughout the USC elections which will be held in February.