Don’t Silence Us.

Dear MSVU,

I’ve been a university student for almost six years. Starting at the University of Prince Edward Island in 2010. In January of last year I started at Mount Saint Vincent University, in a second undergrad. University is tough- it’s expensive, and there’s pressure to do far more than study and learn.

I’ve seen students struggle, I’ve struggled.

Yet in my experiences universities are trying to adapt, trying to support their students. UPEI’s Mental Health Week has created conversations among students, staff, faculty, alumni and the community. Campaigns at MSVU such as “I’m Feeling… ” and “#MentalHealthMatters” give me optimism.

There’s talk, there’s a movement towards change, and stopping the silence surrounding mental health on campuses…and then stories like this appear. 

MSVU Student Not Allowed To Tell Others He’s Suicidal Per School’s Wellness Agreement  via Global News Halifax

Mount Saint Vincent University’s wellness agreement forbid him to tell other students in residence that he was suicidal.

I’m a Mount Saint Vincent University student, in the Bachelor of Public Relations Program, I am in the same year as this student. This student is someone I call a friend, a classmate, and one day will call a colleague. This makes me sick. 

MSVU has been nothing but supportive in recent months of my ventures in the Mental Health community, they’ve shared my posts, attended events, hosted summits and held campaigns. From the outside, and until yesterday, from the inside, it seemed like MSVU was on track. We’ve got supports, hey we even have a therapy dog!
Yet this comes into light and I question what is going on in the minds of MSVU Administrators, people I look up to. There is no one better to understand someones struggles than those who are also in the same situation, peers. Then tell me where the logic is in secluding a student from talking to their peers…other students?

Someone, please explain, because I’m confused. 

I was proud of the school I attend, I was amazed at the support you’ve shown me. Then this? Now I’m not so sure.

You say you support us… Why then are my classmates frustrated? Why then am I concerned about hearing other MSVU students have been silenced? Why then do I feel fear in writing this? WHY.

I don’t have the solutions, but I do have a voice, as do all of you. Share this story, let Mount Saint Vincent University, and others with similar policies that this is NOT OKAY. We’d never silence a diabetic from sharing their struggles with insulin pumps, why then silence a student who is struggling with a mental illness?


A Frustrated MSVU Student.