October 25, 2021

Message from Suzanne Blanchard, Vice-President (Students and Enrolment)

To All Faculty and Staff,

The Fall Break 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 our students and each other. The colder months ahead can be especially challenging, and I write today to help increase awareness about how to navigate the services and programs that are here to help.

As COVID-19 continues to impact the way we work and support students, we have created a campus-wide Departmental Service Listing to help students determine the best way to access our many academic and support resources. This webpage helps to communicate with students about how to connect with different offices, specific information on hours of operation, appointment bookings and other pertinent information.

Keeping students engaged and connected is an important part of supporting their well-being. We have many programs and services available online, as well as some in-person and hybrid options, to help students engage with their peers. From peer academic support, to mentorship, to campus events, these initiatives can help our students feel a sense of belonging to this truly remarkable community.

The Mental Health and Well-Being website is a valuable resource to help you refer students to the appropriate level of support based on their specific needs. Health and Counselling Services also continues to provide virtual counselling appointments to students, including same-day counselling appointments. In response to demand, Health and Counselling Services is also piloting an intake counsellor position to help assess risk and apply a stepped care approach to services, supporting students to receive the right services at the right time.

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 at your convenience. We also offer a collection of virtual workshops to help further enhance your skills in supporting student mental health and well-being, such as Supporting Students in Distress or LivingWorks Start.

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. To learn more about Care Reports, you can register for the new Supporting Student Well-Being: Understanding the Care Report workshop.

Finally, in order to support others, we must also ensure that we are supporting ourselves. I would encourage anyone who needs support to reach out. If you are looking for ways to support your own or colleagues’ mental health, you can find resources at Carleton’s Workplace Mental Health website. Short-term counselling services are also available for employees through the Employee and Family Assistance Program. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused prolonged stress for many people, so please do not forget to care for yourself as you care for those around you.

Thank you again for your continued dedication to supporting our students. For all of our resources available to help you support students, please visit our student support website. As always, should you have any questions, please feel free to contact my office at vpstudents@carleton.ca and we will be happy to assist you.


Suzanne Blanchard
Vice-President (Students and Enrolment)