President's advisory committee on mental health and wellness

In January 2020, President Jacques Frémont announced a series of new initiatives to support the mental health of University of Ottawa students and community members. One of these initiatives was the creation of the President’s Advisory Committee on Mental Health and Wellness.

I am pleased to present the Final Report of the President’s Advisory Committee on Mental Health and Wellness, submitted the President in December 2020. Our goal in this report is to provide the President with recommendations for action, so that we can better support our students, faculty and staff in the coming months and years.

The members of the President’s Advisory Committee on Mental Health and Wellness wish to thank the students, faculty, and staff who shared their stories with us and supported this work.

In terms of next steps, following our recommendation to appoint a Special Advisor on Mental Health and Wellness to, among other key tasks, implement this report, Professor Elizabeth Kristjansson was appointed this Summer to a three-year mandate. As Special Advisor, Professor Kristjansson will ensure that the University implements the Committee's recommendations, while addressing remaining gaps and working towards improving the wellbeing of our students, faculty, and staff.

As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve around the world, I want to remind you to take care of yourself and take care of those around you. Know that, while you may not be on campus, you can continue to use the supports provided by the University.

Kevin Kee

Dean, Faculty of Arts
Chair of the President’s Advisory Committee on Mental Health and Wellness

Illustration of a phone.

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.
Get immediate help

Terms of reference


The President’s Advisory Committee on Mental Health and Wellness (the Advisory Committee) will:

  1. Undertake a thorough and comprehensive listening exercise to hear the views of students, professors, and personnel, to gain a deeper understanding of the mental health challenges faced by the University of Ottawa community, and a sense of the opportunities and barriers within the present suite of available services and resources;
  2. Conduct an environmental scan of best practices among Canadian postsecondary institutions;
  3. Produce a report based on the two exercises above, identifying gaps in our services and recommending other measures. This report will align with the findings and recommendations of the Campus Action Group on Mental Health.


The Advisory Committee will produce an interim report on its activities to the President in May 2020.

A final report will communicate findings at the completion of the work of the Advisory Committee.


The Advisory Committee shall consist of members who are subject matter experts and/or persons with an interest in mental health and wellness.

The Advisory Committee will be composed of the following members:

  • Chair;
  • Two full-time professors;
  • One part-time professor;
  • Two students (one undergraduate student, one graduate student);
  • Two members of the support staff.

And the following resource persons:

  • Rachelle Clark, Director, Wellness and Recreation Sector, University of Ottawa;
  • Lise Griffith, Director, Health and Wellness, Human Resources
  • Erika Hansen, Manager, Planning, Office of the Provost and Vice-President, Academic Affairs


The Advisory Committee will begin its work in March 2020 and will continue until its final report has been submitted to the President. Because of the short timelines, it is understood that not all members will be able to attend all meetings. Scheduling will be based on the largest number of available members.

Meetings will be held in both official languages.

Kevin Kee

Faculty of Arts


J. Craig Phillips

Vice-Dean, Governance
Faculty of Health Sciences

Sharon Whiting

Vice-Dean, Faculty Affairs
Faculty of Medicine

Éliane Boucher

Part-time professor
Faculty of Law
Civil Law Section

Joëlle Perron-Thibodeau

Undergraduate student
Faculty of Law
Civil Law Section

Maxime Lê

Graduate student
Faculty of arts
Department of Communication

Nathalie Saumure

Student Experience Lead
Faculty of Social Sciences

Jessica Simon

Equity and Wellness Counsellor
Faculty of Law
Common Law Section

Resource persons

Rachelle Clark

Director, Wellness and Recreation Sector
Student Life

Lise Griffith

Director, Health and Wellness
Human Resources

Erika Hansen

Manager, Planning
Office of the Provost and Vice-President, Academic Affairs