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UBC Senate: Supporting an integrated approach to enhancing the mental health and wellbeing of students in the academic environment Lindsey Kovacevic Academic.

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Presentation on theme: "UBC Senate: Supporting an integrated approach to enhancing the mental health and wellbeing of students in the academic environment Lindsey Kovacevic Academic."— Presentation transcript:

1 UBC Senate: Supporting an integrated approach to enhancing the mental health and wellbeing of students in the academic environment Lindsey Kovacevic Academic Governance Officer Senate & Curriculum Services

2 Presentation Outline Formation of the Ad Hoc Committee Development of a Framework for Senate Consideration of Student Mental Health and Wellbeing Senate committee implementation of the Framework Current conversations and challenges Discussion questions

3 An Integrated Approach “UBC’s policies, procedures and academic environment have both direct and indirect impacts on students, which can significantly affect their capacities to be academically successful and have a positive experience on campus.”

4 Formation of the Ad Hoc Committee Initiative of the UBC Vancouver Senate Student Caucus “Research has shown that an institution wide, integrated and holistic approach to addressing student mental health is essential to a thriving university environment.” Survey results UBC’s strategic plan, Place and Promise commitment Action: “Increase support for student health and wellbeing, with a specific focus on mental health ”

5 Committee Terms of Reference Advisory body to Senate Identify issues with current policies and practices Make recommendations with the aim of creating a more supportive campus; and to set goals and define undertakings for the Set goals for the advancement of student mental health and wellbeing Report annually

6 Committee Membership 13 Senators (including 4 student members and 2 convocation members) Ombudsperson for Students Managing Director, Student Development & Services A representative from the Senate Teaching and Learning Committee A representative from the Dean’s Office of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS) Registrar Chancellor President

7 Timeline April 2014 –Senate support in principle May 2014 – Ad Hoc Committee formed by Senate June - November 2014 – presentations & development September 2014 – Proposed formal terms of reference November 2014 – Framework and Areas of Interest adopted December 2014 – present – Senate Committee discussions; Ad Hoc Committee continues work Present – May 2017 – Ad Hoc Committee continues to hear presentations & support committees of Senate May 2017 – Final report

8 Development of a Framework Presentations Heard to Date UBC data on student mental health Issues for graduate and undergraduate students Systemically improving mental health and wellbeing WalkAlong project Happiness Promoting wellbeing in the academic environment UBC Mental Health Awareness Club Health Needs Assessment Project AMS priorities Mental Health Network Graduate student supervision UBC Wellbeing Initiative UBC Health and Wellbeing Strategy

9 Development of a Framework Initial suggestion from student caucus Continued student leadership Common themes and areas of focus Three general questions Three guiding principles General guidelines, adaptable to committees’ mandates Areas of interest for committees Areas for collaboration with other University bodies How the Framework Came Together

10 Framework for Post-Secondary Student Mental Health

11 Framework Goals Apply in policy and decision-making processes within Senate and the committees of Senate Support core values of academic integrity and a respectful and caring environment Foster and enhance student wellbeing and resilience Strengthen student self-determination and empowerment Impact the culture Start conversations “Promoting an academic environment in which each student can flourish is essential to both the success of our students and the academic mission of UBC.”

12 3 General Questions & 3 Guiding Principles Impact of the process? Opportunities for those impacted to provide feedback and contribute? Students’ capacity to act in their own interests? General questions for Senate committees to consider

13 Framework Guiding Principles Inclusivity Flexibility Accessibility Three Guiding Principles

14 Framework Guiding Principles Acknowledgement and respect for the diversity of individuals Content and application of the policy or decision Invite community members to participate and contribute Inclusivity “For students to build and maintain a sense of wellbeing, they must feel that they are valued members of the university community.”

15 Framework Guiding Principles Fairness Flexible application of policies and procedures Application of policy to individual situations Discretion Compassion Maintain academic rigour and integrity Flexibility “Being flexible in the application of policy to individual student situations demonstrates a caring environment that promotes mental health and wellbeing.”

16 Framework Guiding Principles Information Reliability, clarity, communication Transparency Universal Design Accessibility “Making information processes and support services freely accessible to all parties will maximize wellbeing and defuse stress and confusion.”

17 Framework Appendices From the presentations; identified as needs and priorities Committee terms of reference Senate jurisdiction Areas of Interest and Areas for Collaboration

18 Senate Committees: Implementation of Framework Academic Building Needs Social sustainability and wellbeing in building design Appeals on Academic Standing Discussions of specific cases Budget Committee Specific questions about funding to mental-health related student services Discussion with Dean of G+PS Admissions Committee

19 Academic Policy Committee

20 Current Conversations and Challenges Who has oversight of all of the initiatives across campus? Areas that committees will not be able to address in the immediate future? How to keep the focus once ad hoc committee is disbanded? What other presentations should be heard? How to engage/communicate with campus partners? Parallel initiative from Okanagan Senate? Final report

21 Discussion Questions How to track success? What does success look like? Similar initiatives at other institutions? Practices and resources?

22 A link to the Senate-approved Framework for Consideration of Student Mental Health and Wellbeing can be found at the bottom of this page: Link to Framework Document

23 Contact Information Lindsey Kovacevic Academic Governance Officer The University of British Columbia

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