OUSA releases policy paper titled “Student Health & Wellness”


May 6, 2024

OUSA releases policy paper titled “Student Health & Wellness”

TORONTO - The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) is proud to release the first policy paper approved by OUSA’s Fall 2023 General Assembly, Student Health and Wellness. The paper was written, approved, and published by students with the purpose of providing recommendations for improving the health and wellness of post-secondary students. 

“A high quality and standard of health supports and systems is integral for the academic and non-academic success of post-secondary students,” said Alyssa Hall, outgoing Vice-President of External Affairs at the Brock University Students’ Union. “The needs of post-secondary students are evolving and the provincial government must take measures to ensure that the diverse needs of students are catered to and met.”

In light of increased socio-economic hardships for students, this paper identifies and centers student concerns around mental, physical, and sexual health, as well as the increasing systemic deficits resulting in heightened food insecurity, substance use, and gaps in medical coverage. Students are particularly concerned about the growing mental health crisis, barriers to physical and sexual wellness, food insecurity, and insufficient healthcare coverage and accommodations. These concerns are not new, but many have been exacerbated by the growing unaffordable and hostile post-secondary climate.

In response to these concerns, students have proposed a number of recommendations that provide the foundation for a comprehensive, student-driven approach to ensuring positive mental, physical, and sexual health outcomes for post-secondary students. Recommendations include a whole-of-community approach to mental health supports, harm reduction for substance use, access to sexual health resources, improvements to fitness and recreation programs, interventions to address food insecurity, and enhancements to healthcare coverage and accommodations.  

"We are hopeful that the provincial government will adopt the recommendations in this paper as it is vital that students are able to live full and healthy lives as they pursue higher education," said Abigail Samuels, outgoing Vice-President Education at McMaster Students Union. “Now more than ever, we owe it to our students to ensure that all stakeholders work collaboratively to address barriers and strengthen the infrastructure that provides students with high-quality, accessible and culturally relevant care on their campuses."

This policy paper and its recommendations were developed by students at OUSA’s member schools. It was passed during OUSA’s Fall General Assembly 2023. To read it, click here.


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About: OUSA represents the interests of 160,000 professional and undergraduate, full-time and part-time university students at nine student associations across Ontario. Our vision is for an accessible, affordable, accountable, and high quality post-secondary education in Ontario.



Tiffany Li Wu

Communications and Operations Coordinator 

Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance

|[email protected]