UPEISU Using Letters to Push for Better Mental Health Resources

UPEISU Using Letters to Push for Better Mental Health Resources

From February 6 – February 8, 2018, the UPEI Student Union is coordinating a letter-writing campaign advocating for better mental health resources on campus. We want to flood the offices of our provincial MLAs with letters from students explaining why these resources are important and why they are needed on our campus. In order to do this, we need your help.

What is the UPEI Student Union advocating for?

The UPEI Student Union is asking the Government of Prince Edward Island to make a dedicated yearly investment of $25 per student to support the enhancement of on-campus mental health and wellness resources at UPEI.

Why are we advocating for this?

Students across Canada are experiencing unique and debilitating challenges in regards to their mental health. Mental health illnesses and disorders have become the most disabling group of disorders worldwide, with approximately 10-20% of Canadian youth affected. Considering that the majority of mental health illnesses and disorders tend to surface between the ages of 18 to 24, it’s likely that post-secondary students will experience their first symptoms while at university.

In order to deal with these challenges, students need to be equipped with the right tools to succeed. Students at UPEI have spoken loud and clear about the need for more mental health supports on campus. Did you know that in a consultation survey done by the UPEISU in 2017, mental health supports was ranked the second highest priority of UPEI students when asked what issues they were facing on campus? Mental health supports ranked second underneath “student financial aid” by a difference of only one vote in this online poll.

How can I be involved?

We are asking students to send letters to their local MLA, a Minister, or the Premier indicating why they think it’s important that the provincial government invest in a dedicated funding to support the enhancement of on-campus mental health resources.

There are two ways for you to write your letter in support of these efforts:

  1. Visit one of the letter-writing booths. There are two on campus (one in the Student Centre and one in McDougall Hall) staffed with student volunteers from 9am – 5pm Tuesday – Thursday. Volunteers will be there to help you sign a letter template or write a personalized letter and prepare it to be mailed. (The Student Union will take care of the mailing part – you just need to sign a letter.)
  2. Write an e-mail. Follow the instructions here.