People walking in front of Tabaret.

Institutional priorities and committees

Appointment of the University Advisor on Mental Health and Wellness

Elizabeth Kristjansson was appointed University Advisor, Mental Health and Wellness for the University of Ottawa effective July 1, 2020, a position created in the wake of the 12 recommendations presented in May 2020 by the President’s Advisory Committee on Mental Health and Wellness.

At the end of her three-year mandate, Dr. Kristjansson will have played a key role in addressing the University of Ottawa's mental health and wellness priorities and helping to ensure that the institution has the resources to provide quality services without delay. Her expertise in neighbourhoods and community health will be an asset in this new role.

Betsy Kristjansson

Find immediate support

If you are in distress or in a crisis, there are several resources available (by phone or online) on the Mental Health and Wellness website.
For emergencies on campus: 613-562-5411.
For emergencies off-campus: 9-1-1.
Need help now

Acknowledging end of listening tour and next steps

The Stay Healthy and Connected Listening Tour is now over and we would like to thank everyone who participated in the live sessions and/or submitted written comments. Your comments and suggestions on work-life balance, workload and workplace recognition challenges are greatly appreciated. Over the next few weeks this feedback will be compiled and analyzed so that we can identify ways to improve our services. A summary of the emerging issues will be made available early this fall and you will have the opportunity to provide additional comments before priorities areas and actions are finalized.

Take care of yourselves and each other.

The University Advisor on Mental Health and Wellness ensures that the University implements the recommendations of the President’s Advisory Committee on Mental Health and Wellness in an effective and timely manner, while addressing remaining gaps and working towards improving the well-being of our students, professors and staff, and fostering a culture of caring and support.

Outside of the wellness lounge.

Wellness lounge

Since June 14, 2021, the Wellness Lounge is open to all students. Located in Jock Turcot University Centre, room 203, the Wellness Lounge is a space where you can take a break, recharge and get help from peers educators. Wellness-focused activities aimed at helping you find balance are taking place on a recurring basis. The Wellness Lounge also has two study rooms you can book: a light therapy room and a plant room. These activities are all free; you can come every week or drop-in occasionally, as you need it.

Feet of people walking.

More Feet on the Ground is a mental health education partnership program and website aimed at helping community members of Ontario postsecondary institutions to recognizerespond and refer students experiencing mental health issues on campus. The course also offers best practices for reflecting after interacting with someone who may be upset or distressed.

These committees will build upon the expertise and work of defunct committees that addressed similar concerns (President's Advisory Committee on Mental Health and Wellness, the Action Group on Mental Health (CAG) and Wellness and the Standing Committee on Student Wellbeing). This work includes the Roadmap to Wellness produced by the CAG, as well as the findings and recommendations of the President’s Advisory Committee on Mental Health and Wellness.

Mental Health and Wellness Steering Committee (MHSC)

The mandate of the Mental Health and Wellness Steering Committee is to support the University Advisor on Mental Health and Wellness in advancing mental health and wellbeing at the University of Ottawa, providing strategic direction, oversight and leadership.

More information on the MHSC.

Mental Health and Wellness Advisory Committee (MHAC)

The MHAC will serve as a forum to bring to the attention of the University Advisor on Mental Health and Wellness emerging issues related to mental health and wellness that need to be considered; consult and discuss on important issues related to the overall objectives of the mental health and wellness strategy; and serve as a mechanism for reporting to the uOttawa community on progress on mental and wellness initiatives.

More information on the MHAC.

Working groups

Implementation of specific components of the recommendations from the President’s Advisory Committee on Mental Health and Wellness Report will be done through mandate-specific working groups that will focus on action and solutions.

Members of the Steering Committee will oversee mandate specific working groups, with membership of each working group including representation from across the University community, and experts.

The Special Advisor recognizes that the responsibilities and the initiatives of the working groups may overlap with each other, which is why effective coordination and communication for planning, implementation, and reporting will be paramount. The working groups will, through their leads, report regularly to the Steering Committee who will monitor progress and assess and mitigate interdependencies between the working groups.