Mental health petition creator 'really glad' at UW response
Petition urging University of Waterloo to do more for mental health reaches 10,000 signatures
The student behind a petition asking the University of Waterloo to do more to support students' mental health says she's pleased the school's administration is taking the issue seriously.
Nicole St. Clair is a second-year political science student. She didn't know the student who died by suicide in the school's residence earlier this week, but nevertheless, she was affected by it.
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"I really just wanted to do something. I couldn't just sit back," she said.
St. Clair posted the petition online Monday night.
Stigma around mental health
St. Clair said she wasn't sure what the reaction would be – she thought maybe the petition would get 500 signatures.
As of 2 p.m. Friday, it had more than 10,500.
St. Clair said she felt like the issue resonates with students because it's an issue everyone knows about, but rarely discusses.
"I think there's a lot of stigma around mental health in general, and especially on campus," she said.
On Thursday, University of Waterloo president Feridun Hamdullahpur penned an open letter to staff, faculty and students saying talks are taking place.
'Keep the conversation going'
St. Clair said she was happy the school is taking the issue seriously.
"We're really, really glad that the university's recognizing the issue and responding to the petition and we're working together to find the best solutions and keep the conversation going," she said.
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Final exams are approaching, which is a stressful time for students. But after that is the summer term, when far fewer students are on campus.
But St. Clair said she will be on campus during the summer months and she plans to remain in contact with the university's administration.
"I'll be around to do my best to keep the conversation going," she said.