The background ...

The Report of the Provostial Advisory Committee on Student Mental Health recommends the adoption of a systems approach as the overarching institutional strategy to support student health and well-being. A systems approach focuses not just on the availability of health and wellness services, but regards the entire University environment, including instructional settings, as involved in creating the conditions that support student well-being and success.  

Recommendation 1.2 of the Report asks that “the University adopts a systems approach in creating supportive and inclusive conditions for students to flourish...”

A systems approach reflects the reciprocal relationship between wellness and academic achievement and recognizes that students’ health and well-being is a foundation for their academic and personal success. Further, it acknowledges that all elements within the University environment have an impact on student well-being and everyone – staff, faculty and students – has a role to play in building a heathier campus.

We take inspiration from the Okanagan Charter: An International Charter for Health Promoting Universities and Colleges (2015):

“Health promoting universities and colleges infuse health into everyday operations, business practices and academic mandates. By doing so, health promoting universities and colleges enhance the success of our institutions; create campus cultures of compassion, well-being, equity and social justice; improve the health of the people who live, learn, work, play and love on our campuses; and strengthen the ecological, social and economic suitability of our communities.”

The Charter has two calls to action for higher education institutions:

  1. Embed health into all aspects of campus culture, across the administration, operations and academic mandates.
  2. Lead health promotion action and collaboration locally and globally.
Okanagan Charter 2015