News at the University of New Brunswick

UNB aligns with National Standard of Mental Health and Well-Being for Post-Secondary Students

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on May 25, 2021

Category: UNB Fredericton , myUNB , UNB Saint John

UNB has reaffirmed its commitment to supporting student mental health by aligning with the National Standard of Mental Health and Well-Being for Post-Secondary Students.

The National Standard is a set of voluntary guidelines to help post-secondary institutions across Canada support the mental health and well-being of their students.

The guidelines were established after significant consultation by the Mental Health Commission of Canada and the Canadian Standards Association. These guidelines are adaptable and grounded in a commitment to continuous improvement.

“Supporting our students with their mental health and well-being remains a top priority for UNB, and aligning with the National Standard is a natural extension of our work to ensure we are providing our students with appropriate and relevant services,” says Mark Walma, assistant vice-president of Student Services at UNB Fredericton.

The National Standard recommendations cover not only counselling but a broad vision of mental health and wellness supports.

“We want to be able to help students manage any challenges they face before their mental health is adversely impacted,” says Sheldon MacLeod, director of UNB Saint John Student Services. “At UNB, students have access to a range of short-term mental health services including one-on-one counselling, groups sessions and other well-being initiatives. Our Counselling Services team can also help with referrals for, and guidance on, accessing services within the wider community.”

As recommended by the Standard, UNB spent time reviewing existing policies and gathering data on the current needs of students.

“We were pleased to find that many of the initiatives delivered at UNB already align closely with the recommendations set out, either meeting or exceeding the expectations,” says MacLeod.

By aligning with the Standard, UNB has also committed to continually assessing, reviewing and improving the services offered through Counselling Services.

As part of ongoing work to improve Student Support services on UNB campuses, a Scope of Service has been published.

“The Scope of Service does not represent a significant departure from the current practices in place at UNB counselling centres,” explains Walma. “As part of our work reviewing the services already in place, and gathering information on what the needs of our students are, we hope this new document will simplify the process for our students and give them a clear understanding of the wide array of services we offer to support their mental health and well-being.”

Media contact: Kelsey Pye