Waterloo Walkout Petition
WE, STUDENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO, DEMAND AN IMMEDIATE ADDRESS OF THE CONDITIONS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO STUDENT SUICIDE AND THE CONTINUING GAPS IN SUPPORT FOR STUDENT MENTAL HEALTH THAT LEAVE TOO MANY OF OUR NUMBER AT RISK FOR SUICIDE.
Additional support and funding for the existing counselling centre
• Provide unlimited counselling sessions for all University of Waterloo students
• Stop the triaging of students struggling with mental health issues based on “severity” by addressing the needs of students in emotional pain quickly
• Restructure management in counselling services to allow counsellors greater freedom to do their jobs
• During peak demand for counselling services, offer partnerships with outside organizations for free counselling or find counsellors who offer sliding scale payment
• Develop a structure to help students find longer term counselling more quickly as well as crisis counselling beyond the University
Address toxic competitive culture or the alienating learning environment on campus
• Encourage faculty to redesign courses and teaching practices to encourage cooperation and mutual support among students rather than fostering competition
• Give professors training in mental health support and awareness – including eradicating a culture of shame and shaming around mental illness
• Streamline academic accommodations support with counselling services
• Provide additional training and support tools in mental health awareness for residence dons
• Develop events that foster an ongoing dialogue on campus about mental health as it impacts on students as a whole as well as on Indigenous students, international students, and students of colour, in particular
We urge the university to work with the families of students who have died to create appropriate memorials on campus.