Call for Nominations – Presidential & Provostial Task Force on Student Mental Health (PDAD&C#72)

From: President Meric Gertler
Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President & Provost
Date: April 3, 2019
Re: Call for Nominations – Presidential & Provostial Task Force on Student Mental Health (PDAD&C#72)

In a letter to students, faculty, and staff on March 28, President Gertler announced that the University of Toronto will implement a four-part plan of action on student mental health and wellness: 1) convene a Presidential and Provostial Task Force on Student Mental Health; 2) utilize the Undergraduate Student Educational Experience (USEE) Expert Panel and School of Graduate Studies (SGS) consultations on student experience as a foundation for enhancing the culture of support for students; 3) engage with our partners in the health system in the Toronto region to better serve students with mental illness; and 4) redouble efforts to impress upon the provincial government the need to provide significantly more resources for university student mental health.

To initiate part one of the action plan, we are writing to call for nominations for the Presidential & Provostial Task Force on Student Mental Health. We recognize that end of term is a very busy time of year, but also know that this cannot wait. The Task Force will build upon the progress underway on the priorities identified in the Student Mental Health Framework. The full mandate of the Task Force is outlined in its Terms of Reference, available on the Provost’s website.

The Task Force will be chaired by Dr. Trevor Young, Vice-Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine. Senior assessors to the Task Force will be Professor Sandy Welsh, Vice-Provost Students, and Professor Joshua Barker, Vice-Provost, Graduate Research and Education, and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. In addition to the Chair and Assessors, the composition of the Task Force will include:

  • Three students (one graduate, one professional, one undergraduate);
  • Three faculty members; and
  • Two administrative staff members.

Nominations (including self-nominations) may be submitted via online form by April 24, 2019. Nominees should have research, scholarly, and/or professional or volunteer experience related to issues of mental health.

The Task Force will begin its work immediately and will consult widely among all stakeholder groups in the University community, especially students. The Task Force will present its findings and recommendations to the President and Provost by December 2019.

Questions about the Presidential & Provostial Task Force on Mental Health may be directed to Cheryl Gibbs, Assistant Director, Office of the Vice-Provost Students, who will be providing support to the Task Force, at

Feeling distressed? Find someone to talk to right now – and if there is an immediate risk, call 911.

The following are some of the mental health services available to students on all three campuses:

Downtown Toronto: Health and Wellness Centre (416-978-8030), located at Koffler Student Services

U of T Scarborough: Health & Wellness Centre 416-287-7065 

U of T Mississauga: Health & Counselling Centre 905-828-5255

Round-the-clock support

Free 24/7 support is available outside the university. Students, staff and faculty can speak to a trained crisis worker at any hour of the day.

Good 2 Talk 1-866-925-5454

Gerstein Crisis Centre 416-929-5200 

Distress Centres of Greater Toronto 416-408-HELP (4357)

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health at 250 College Street

Anishnawbe Health Toronto Mental Health Crisis Line 416-360-0486

My SSP for U of T Students 1-844-451-9700. Immediate support is available in 35 languages and ongoing support in 146 languages.

Appointed faculty and staff have access to the Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP), offered through Homewood Health, online and by phone at 1-800-663-1142.