Student Mental Health Initiative

UVic students, faculty and staff talk about the importance of mental health.

The UVic Student Mental Health Strategy (SMHS) is a framework that provides direction for the Division of Student Affairs and the broader university community for a holistic and comprehensive approach to student mental health at UVic. The university executive approved the three-year SMHS (2014-2017) following a broad consultation process.

The goal in implementing the SMHS is to ensure that:

  • there is a highly coordinated and strategic use of resources related to student mental health;
  • areas providing student support services are working from common principles and goals; and
  • the university effectively measures the work undertaken to support student success.

Alignment with the UVic Strategic Plan

The UVic Strategic Plan articulates institutional commitment to inclusivity, diversity, equal rights, fairness, removing barriers, and accommodation. These values are reflected throughout the SMHS. Specifically, the SMHS relates to the following objectives set out in the university strategic plan:
Related Strategic Plan Objectives

  • to actively recruit and retain outstanding students from diverse regions and backgrounds and remove barriers to admission and retention other than academic and creative potential (objective 2).
  • to support the student experience by building a comprehensive and integrated student service environment focused on anticipating and meetings the needs of our increasingly diverse student body (objective 16).
  • to manage and protect our human, financial, physical and information resources in a responsible and sustainable fashion (objective 36).


The SHMS is intended to provide a campus-wide framework that:

  1. Informs the campus community of the general institutional approach/response to supporting student mental health and our collective principles;
  2. Outlines the current work/resources/initiatives in place that support student mental health;
  3. Proposes opportunities for new initiatives or goals that would advance the principles of the UVic strategy.


2014/2015 – Theme: Education, awareness and building connections
  • SMHS Launch Event – October 2014
  • Quick Reference Guide: Assisting students in Distress – Spring 2015
  • Student Mental Health Literacy Training introduced for faculty and staff – Spring 2015
2015/2016 – Theme: Building welcoming, supportive communities and environments
2016/2017 – Theme: Organizational Development and Building Capacity


Executive leadership

  • Jim Dunsdon, Associate Vice-President Student Affairs
  • Joel Lynn, Executive Director, Student Services