The Fall Reading Week signals that we have reached the midway point of the term, and I want to thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to supporting students and each other during these difficult times. The colder months ahead will be especially challenging, and I write today to make sure everyone is aware of the services and programs that are there to help.
Keeping students engaged and connected is an important part of supporting student well-being. We have transitioned a number of programs and services online to help students engage with their peers, including the launch of CUx. CUx encourages collaboration between departments and student groups to offer intentional virtual programming and activities that enhance the overall student experience. These virtual events are designed to provide students with an opportunity to connect with peers, build community and get involved in campus life. Any department that would like to get involved can contact CUx by email.
The Mental Health and Well-Being website can assist you in matching students to the appropriate level of support based on their specific needs. Additionally, the Supporting Students in Distress guide outlines how to recognize when a student is in distress and how to respond effectively to a student who approaches you looking for help. This guide is available online for you to consult as we navigate this virtual environment.
Health and Counselling Services continues to provide virtual counselling appointments to students, including same-day counselling appointments. We are also hiring three new counsellors, including a radicalized counsellor and a graduate student counsellor.
For faculty and staff looking to enhance their knowledge, skills and strategies to support student mental health and well-being, the Student Support Certificate has expanded to offer a new Student Mental Health and Well-Being concentration. This new collection of workshops includes sessions dedicated to topics such as Supporting Students in Distress; Building Student Resilience; Substances, Stigma; Supporting Students; and more.
If you are concerned about a student and not sure where to direct them, please submit a Care Report. The team in the Office of Student Affairs is monitoring Care Report submissions daily and continues to follow up virtually or over the phone. In cases where there is an imminent risk to the student (e.g. suicide risk, harm to self or others), please contact Campus Safety Services (CSS) at 613-520-4444. CSS will be able to connect with the student’s next of kin or engage with the police service that has jurisdiction in the student’s location for resources and support in that area.
In order to support others, we must also ensure that we are supporting ourselves. I would encourage anyone who needs some support to reach out. Carleton’s Healthy Workplace website is an excellent resource for anyone looking for information or options to enhance their own well-being. Short-term counselling services are also available for employees through the Employee and Family Assistance Program. These are very stressful times that we find ourselves in, but we will make it through by supporting each other and continuing to work together in the Carleton way.
Thank you again for your continued dedication to supporting our students. As always, should you have any questions, please feel free to contact my office and we will be happy to assist you.
Vice-President (Students and Enrolment)