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National Organizations Focus on Campus Mental Health: Release of a national resource to support campuses in their response 

Montreal, Quebec – The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) and the Canadian Association of Colleges and University Student Services (CACUSS) are launching a unique document designed to support campuses in their responses to student mental health. The resource, Post-Secondary Student Mental Health: Guide to a systemic approach, is a first-of-its-kind resource that helps colleges and universities to plan comprehensive action to improve student mental health. It will be launched during the annual CACUSS conference, taking place June 18-20, 2013 in Montreal.

CACUSS and CMHA BC Division, who took a lead role on behalf of the national association, have collaborated for over three years on this resource. Over 300 people from 70 post-secondary institutions across Canada contributed to the document, speaking to the broad impact and reach of mental health on campus.

“So many of our members have identified mental health as a priority issue at their campus. This guide will help campuses to take comprehensive action to improve overall campus mental health,” says Jennifer Hamilton, Executive Director of CACUSS.

With yesterday’s release of the largest set of data describing Canadian students’ health behaviours by the Canadian Organization of University and College Health (COUCH—a division of CACUSS), this new national resource has particular relevance.

“This data supports the need to focus on mental health on campuses across Canada. Investing today in mental health promotion and prevention initiatives will benefit young people immensely throughout their lives. CMHA is pleased to see the launch of this guide, and we look forward to supporting continued work in this area,” says Peter Coleridge, National CEO, CMHA and Bev Gutray, CEO, CMHA BC in a joint statement.

The document can be downloaded here.

About the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services (CACUSS)

CACUSS is a national professional association founded in 1973. With close to 1,400 members from every province, CACUSS serves university and college professional staff in their roles of supporting students in their learning and educational goals. CACUSS provides professional development, research and resources, regional and annual events, and publishes a professional magazine. CACUSS is the leader in the development and advancement of the student affairs and services profession in Canada.

About the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)

Founded in 1918, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is one of Canada's oldest not-for-profit organizations.  With more than 10,000 staff and volunteers in hundreds of communities across Canada, CMHA provides vital services and support to well over half a million Canadians every year. As the nation-wide leader and champion for mental health, CMHA facilitates access to the resources people require to maintain and improve mental health and community integration, build resilience and support recovery from mental illness.

For further information, contact:

Carolyn Lovas
Senior Communications and Media Advisor, CMHA, National
(416) 979-7948

Jennifer Hamilton
Executive Director
Canadian Association of College and University Student Services
416-899-7650 or cacuss-ed@cacuss.ca

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