On behalf of the University of British Columbia I am very pleased to welcome the Stand Up for Mental Health Campus Comedy Tour to our Vancouver campus on October 14, and our Okanagan campus on October 19.
For most students university is a time of self-discovery, challenge and personal growth. Within a community of supportive friends, faculty and staff, this journey should be rich and rewarding. But for too many young adults, it can also be a time of loneliness, stress and depression. Universities must do all they can to develop a community that is open and supportive in every way.
Place and Promise, The UBC Plan, reflects our commitment with a specific goal to support student well-being and personal development through outstanding campus life programs and service excellence. Mental health is one of our top priorities for this academic year, and there are a variety of initiatives aimed at responding to the concerns of students and addressing the stigma associated with mental health concerns.
The Stand Up for Mental Health tour is one important way we can create open, frank and inclusive campus dialogue. Other initiatives include UBC's social media outreach called Healthy Minds (http://blog.students.ubc.ca/healthyminds), UBC Thrive Week, and a new web site, Live Well, Learn Well (www.students.ubc.ca/livewelllearnwell/index.cfm). In addition, staff are working with emerging student groups to improve awareness, decrease stigma and provide support to those in need.
Let's all stand up for mental health, by taking some time each day to listen, laugh and care for those around us.
Stephen J. Toope
President and Vice-Chancellor
The University of British Columbia