AAU Student Mental Health Working Group

Committee Members

Peter Halpin, Association of Atlantic Universities (Facilitator)
Elizabeth Cawley, Memorial University, AAU Community of Practice Coordinator
Peter Cornish, Memorial Unviersity, Co-Chair
James Sanford, Acadia University, Co-Chair
Rice Fuller, University of New Brunswick
Verity Turpin, Dalhousie University
Treena Smith, University of Prince Edward Island
Marriam Abou-El-Haj, Mount Saint Vincent University
Sarah Morris, Saint Mary's University
Margaret McKinnon, St. Francis Xavier University
Laurie Edwards, Nova Scotia Community College
Mary Ellen Kingston-Ritchie, New Brunswick Community College
Pamela Magee, Canadian Mental Health Association Nova Scotia
Deborah Phillips, Nova Scotia Health Authority, Stay Connected Mental Health Project 
David Pilon, Nova Scotia Health Authority, Stay Connected Mental Health Project

Committee Terms of Reference


  1. Share perspectives/realities about services on member campuses
  2. Identify, discuss and share knowledge of evolving best practice models for addressing mental health needs of university students at Atlantic universities
  3. Collaborate on projects of common interest that could be implemented across campuses
  4. Advocate for enhancing mental health services on campuses and for collaboration with district health authorities
  5. Develop opportunities for professional development in the area of university mental health policy and systems of delivery
  6. Incorporate principles of broad community development wellness models (e.g., Healthy Campus) in the conversations on policy and practice
  7. Promote mental health literacy on campuses
  8. Involve students and/or student leaders in the working group activities

Scope and Deliverables

  1. Host an annual Atlantic post-secondary student mental health conference with focus on mental health programming, policy and delivery systems 
  2. Review and recommend adaptations of scope and pathways of mental health services in collaboration with representatives from regional health authorities
  3. Maintain an online repository for sharing knowledge, innovations, models and best practices among member institutions
  4. Identify one or two priorities each year (e.g., pathways or peer support programming)
  5. Prepare brief annual reports and/or updates


  1. Meet at least three times per year, called by the Chair 
  2. Elect a Chair among members to serve for 3 years
  3. Make decisions by consensus. When consensus is not possible decisions will be made by vote or on the authority of the chair
  4. Prepare an annual update on Working Group activities for member institution presidents and a report for public release
  5. Maintain meeting minutes on the Working Group Repository