Monday October 31st marked a momentous occasion in campus mental health. The University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Memorial University, Mount Royal University, the University of Calgary and the University of Lethbridge formally adopted the Okanagan Charter: An International Charter for Health Promoting Universities and Colleges.
The charter is a product of the 2015 International Conference on Health Promoting Universities and Colleges, co-led by Healthy Minds|Healthy Campuses and UBC-O, and calls on post-secondary institutions to make a commitment to health and well-being in all policies and practices.
“The Okanagan Charter places well-being at the forefront of a wide range of programs and initiatives to support our university community,” said SFU President Andrew Petter. “SFU is proud to be a leader in the development of the Okanagan Charter, realizing our vision of being Canada’s most engaged university.”
Each institution has made individual commitments to enacting the Okanagan Charter on their campuses in different ways—from campus-wide mental health strategies, to developing campus spaces that support connection and community. The concert of these initiatives aligns with the newly-formed Canadian Health Promoting Universities and Colleges Network, headed by these first university signatories, committed to advancing the charter and encouraging health promotion on campuses across Canada and globally.
Read each institution’s public statement:
University of Calgary
University of Lethbridge
Mount Royal University