Skip to main content

eVisions - Campuses

eVisions banner




eVisions - Campuses

Vol. 4 | No. 3 | Spring 2008

online table of contents and PDFs:




Editor's Message
--Sarah Hamid-Balma
Visions’ editor reflects on some of the key themes in this issue including looking back to her own college experience as a student with mental illness and reflects on the aspects of college life that aren’t so “picture perfect”.

Mental Health and Wellness: Does your school make the grade?
--Jeff Thompson, Guest Editor
What if we graded the way colleges treat student mental health the way professors grade the students? What if we put faculty and staff in the student’s seat? Visions guest editor highlights the need for colleges to take charge of student mental health.

The BC Campus: Where futures begin? Or a site for risky substance use?
--Tim Dyck and Nicole Pankratz
There is a lot of talk these days about the use of substances on campus. But what are the numbers, what are the risks and what do students say about it?

Pressures of Student Life Demand Awareness and Support
--Daniel Frankel
Student stress is on the rise; and so is student mental illness. A college counselor breaks down exactly what is stressing students out and tells us what we can do about it.

When Being Yourself Makes You Sick: Special student groups at higher risk of mental illness
--Megan Dumas
College can be a stressful time for everyone, but certain parts of who you are can make that stress even worse. Are you at risk? [Online Only]


Experiences and Perspectives

Student Mental Health at Simon Fraser University
--Pam Whiting
The Director of Health & Counselling Services at Simon Fraser University shows us exactly what student mental health looks like on her campus. You might be surprised at the numbers.

Beyond Cleaning Up Your Own Barf
--Kelli Hewins
A Resident Life Coordinator shares her struggle to teach students that responsible drinking and what she’s learned along the way.

Graduating from Panic U
--Brittany Davis
Anxiety is a part of college life; but what do you do when it goes out of control? How support from her school helped one student grad from Panic U.

Kwantlen Counsellors: Encountering a new wave of student mental health difficulties
--Wendy Belter
Like on college campuses everywhere, counselors at Kwantlen College in Vancouver have seen a sharp increase in mental health problems in students. She highlights the challenges they face but also the even larger truth: that college an be a life-changing and healing process for people with mental health challenges

When Expectations Crumble: A mother’s look at her son’s post-secondary experience
A mother shares her son Declan’s* struggle at university and d her own inner turmoil about his experiences. She asks the big question: what if more could be done to accommodate students with mental health needs?

The Mind Shaft
--Suzannah Kelly
A journalist bravely describes the dangerous shaft of eating disorders by telling her own story; in every gory but gutsy detail, including what her campus did that helped and didn't help.

From Cutting to Creating Change on My Campus
--Amanda Pierce
A student discovers the power of sharing her story and takes us on her journey from cutting and substance use to inspiring a student led campus initiative across North America called Active Minds.

An Unexpected Education—What I Really Learned in University
--Tamsin Bosko*
An honours student shares how an anxiety disorder helped build a wall of academic success; then caused it to crumble. [Online Only]

Pete Wetz Interview from
--Pete Wentz
The bassist from the popular band Fall Out Boy talks about how juggling music with college led him from depression to his darkest hour. [Online Only]


Alternatives and Approaches

Communities Practising Care: The BC Campus Project
--Sarah Wiebe
If it takes a village to raise a child, then it takes a community to take care of its students. The BC Partners for Mental Health and Addictions Information are creating a community network of campus professionals that cares.

Dreaming Big: Envisioning a Campus-Wide Suicide Prevention Strategy
--Jonathan Morris and Jennifer White
A small group of dedicated staffers at the University of Victoria are creating a big buzz about suicide on campus. Their small and dedicated team have plans to map out a wide-reaching approach to suicide prevention. Now to get the backing of the administration...

Accommodating Students With Ongoing Mental Health Issues: Lessons from York U’s Psychiatric Dis/Abilities Program
--Enid Weiner
Over the past 18 years Enid, who coordinates a program for students with mentla illnesses, has seen a lot of changes in student mental health. In this article she explains what arrangements – known as accommodations – can be made to help students with psychiatric dis / abilities succeed like never before.

Building Connections Beyond Undergrad: A unique support group for grad students
--Jennifer Lund
Grad students face unique challenges when it comes to maintaining their mental health on campus. Jennifer shares her journey as a doctoral student and how a unique and informative support group of her peers has helped her through.

Alcohol on Campus: Dispelling misperceptions using the social norms approach
--Maria Locacciato
Most students in college party and drink every weekend right? Wrong. An innovative approach is using the truth to set students free from problem substance use.

Let a Friend Help You Through Stress
--Saman Khan
A co-op student at the Canadian Mental Health Association proves that college students can get by with a little help from their friends. [Online Only]


Regional Programs

A community response to student mental health at TRU
--Megan Dumas and Cathy Tetarenko
Healthy students equal a healthy community. How one BC university, Thompson Rivers U, partnered with the outside community to provide full-time mental health support – right on campus.

Are You Going Bananas?
--Paula Tognazzini
The funny – and effective – way some very bright UBC students got people talking about mental health and substance use, as part of the annual Beyond the Blues campaign.

Shifting the Focus: Recruiting parents to help reduce harmful alcohol use
--Paweena Sukhawathanakul and Bonnie Leadbeater
Despite what you may think, your kids are listening. How UVic is teaming up with parents to reduce risky drinking in its students.

“Hello, this is SFU Nightline…”: We’re here to listen!
--Rohene Ishmail and Sonu Purhar
Two students who volunteer at their universities’ nightline share how they help others by lending an ear and how they in turn, have helped themselves.

Recovery From Psychosis is Expected
--Rene Corbett
One program is helping make life a little easier for students with psychosis, many of whom are college-aged when symptoms first strike. The key? Early intervention. [Online Only]

Rethinking Drinking: TRU students develop a binge drinking toolkit
--Sarah Harrison and Marcia Vergilio
Four TRU students are trying to change the way students see binge drinking, and they’re hoping to do it one balloon at a time. [Online Only]





What is eVisions?

You asked and we answered. Visions, BC’s award-winning mental health and addictions journal is now just a click away! Visions is a forum for the many voices of people who care about mental health, mental illness and substance use issues. Each edition looks in-depth at a different theme and features articles by people living with mental illnesses and/or addictions and their families, mental health and addiction professionals and other concerned citizens. It is written for the mental health and addictions community, by the mental health and addictions community and now it can be delivered straight to your inbox, a week before it hits the press.

Four times a year you’ll receive an eVisions newsletter with brief summaries of each article in the issue—so you can better choose which articles interest you—with links to the full HTML article online. Read only what you want, when you want. Share it easily with others. No PDF readers needed. Best of all, eVisions is free!

Visions: BC's Mental Health and Addictions Journal is produced by the BC Partners for Mental Health and Addictions Information, and funded by BC Mental Health and Addiction Services, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority. The project is coordinated by the Canadian Mental Health Association’s BC Division.


Getting a print copy of Visions

Like Visions enough that you want your own print copy? One free copy is sent to every publicly-funded or nonprofit mental health or addictions provider. If you don’t currently see Visions, email or call 1-800-661-2121 to enquire about a free subscription. Otherwise, subscriptions are $25 Cdn a year for 4 issues.


Write for or respond to Visions

NEW ARTICLES: We always welcome new voices and perspectives from across BC. Check out our writers’ guidelines at or contact Megan Dumas at or 1-800-555-8222 ext. 229 with your story idea.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: If you want to respond briefly to something you’ve read, email us at


More about us

Visions: BC's Mental Health and Addictions Journal is an award-winning, policy-to-practice magazine of the BC Partners for Mental Health and Addictions Information.

The BC Partners is a group of provincial mental health and addictions agencies in BC including the Anxiety Disorders Association of BC, BC Schizophrenia Society, Canadian Mental Health Association's BC Division, Centre for Addiction Research of BC at UVic, FORCE Society for Kids' Mental Health Care, Jessie's Hope Society, and Mood Disorders Association of BC. Our reason for coming together is that we recognize that a number of groups need to have access to accurate, standard and timely information on mental health, mental disorders and addictions, including information on evidence-based services, supports and self-management.

The BC Partners and Visions Journal are funded by BC Mental Health & Addiction Services, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority. More than 15,000 people read the hard copy of the journal and thousands more access it online at Visions is available free to any resident of BC such as people with mental illness or addiction issues, their friends and family, members of the BC Partners member agencies, mental health and addictions services providers (one per address), MLAs, other concerned citizen groups, libraries, academics and policy-makers.


Simply visit to subscribe and hit the e-Visions button to manage your subscription. Emails are only collected and used for the purpose of delivering e-Visions and for no other purpose.

Stay Connected

Sign up for our various e-newsletters featuring mental health and substance use resources.