In recent years, measures have been implemented across the board in many colleges and universities to make them healthy, safe, and open to diversity. Numerous institutional policies and action plans promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) have been developed.

According to the Fonds de recherche du Québec:

  • Equity refers to fair treatment, aimed in particular at eliminating systemic barriers that disadvantage certain groups. Equitable treatment is not necessarily the same for everyone, but takes into consideration different realities, present or historical, so that everyone has access to the same opportunities.
  • Diversity refers to people from different groups, within the ecosystem of research and society, fostering the expression of a variety of viewpoints, approaches and experiences, including those of under-represented groups.
  • Inclusion refers to the implementation of practices that enable all society members to be and feel valued, supported, and respected, with particular attention to under-represented groups.

Which actions can help address EDI and mental health in the student population?

  • Integrate the notion of equity into student mental health policies.
  • Consider the impact of other policies on students at risk of having their mental health compromised during their studies.
  • Access to information on the characteristics of the student population and their specific mental health needs.
  • Paying attention to the life experience of people with mental health disorders or experiencing inequalities when implementing actions.

Section 2.3 of the Department of Higher Education’s Action Plan on Student Mental Health in Higher Education recognizes the responsibility of institutions to create environments that are free from discrimination and respect the socio-cultural diversity of the student community.


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Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur. (2021) Plan d’action sur la santé mentale étudiante en enseignement supérieur 2021-2026

Canadian Association of College and University Student Services (CACUSS). The Post-Secondary Student Mental Health: Guide to a Systemic Approach

Fonds de recherche du Québec. Équité, diversité et inclusion

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