Extensive consultation garnered 1,500 responses from VCC employees and studentsVANCOUVER, May 18, 2022 – After extensive consultation from employees and students, Vancouver Community College (VCC) will be launching a Mental Health and Well-being Framework during its annual mental health and well-being event taking place on Thursday, May 26.
Created in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association British Columbia Division (CMHA BC) and Healthy Minds | Healthy Campuses, as well as guided by VCC’s Mental Health and Well-being Steering Committee, the framework garnered over 1,500 responses from members of the college community by way of focus groups, dialogues, and a campus-wide survey. The framework aims to guide the college’s well-being efforts in promoting mental health for the next five years (2022-2026).
“We are fortunate to work with CMHA BC and Healthy Minds | Healthy Campuses to develop a campus-wide, systemic, and holistic approach to mental health and well-being,” says Clayton Munro, VCC Associate Vice President, Student and Enrolment Services and steering committee co-chair. “The framework sets the foundation for our college community to think, speak, and act in appropriate and constructive ways regarding mental health.”
“The Vancouver Community College Mental Health and Well-being Framework holds promise for a transformative approach to promoting individual and collective community mental health and well-being,” adds Jonny Morris, CEO of CMHA BC. “The notions of influencing the conditions that affect well-being, collaborating across boundaries and differences, and democratizing who can assist when someone is in distress all inspire a new starting place for such an important endeavour.”
The framework also coincides with VCC’s signing of the Okanagan Charter, a landmark agreement that unites post-secondary institutions in a collective commitment to become campuses that promote health and well-being. VCC joins more than 30 other colleges and universities who have adopted the charter.
“VCC strives to innovate, engage, and excel for years to come, and this hinges on us caring for and supporting each other well,” says Ajay Patel, VCC President and CEO. “I applaud VCC’s Mental Health and Well-being Steering Committee and the representatives from the Students’ Union of VCC, CUPE and the VCC Faculty Association for their timely and thoughtful work on this project, as well as the community members who offered responses through surveys and dialogues.”
Over the next five years, VCC’s Mental Health and Well-being Steering Committee will lead the college in implementing the framework and monitoring VCC’s progress.
One of the first initiatives being implemented is the college’s participation in CMHA’s Not Myself Today program which aims to transform mental health in the workplace. Since launching the initiative this spring, 300 employees have attended informational sessions and 40 employees joined as Not Myself Today Ambassadors.
“We have a communal responsibility to foster a safe and supportive workplace at VCC,” says Elaine Pedersen, VCC Manager, Organizational and People Development and steering committee co-chair. “Launching the Not Myself Today initiative supports the Framework’s commitment to building capacity and literacy around mental health.”
Join VCC’s annual mental health and well-being event, this year titled Connecting with Compassion and Empathy, on Thursday, May 26 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Students, staff, family, and community members are invited to drop into one or more of the many virtual wellness workshops running throughout the day.
The Mental Health and Well-being project is generously supported by funding from B.C.’s Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions administered by CMHA BC under the partnered initiative of Healthy Minds | Healthy Campuses.
VCC has been inspiring students to reach their career and educational goals for over 55 years, offering post-secondary training in over 140 programs including bachelor's degrees, diplomas, certificates, and apprenticeships. With two campuses located Downtown and in East Vancouver, students receive hands-on instruction in culinary arts, business, design, health sciences, hospitality management, transportation trades, music, and more. Learn more at vcc.ca.
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