Jan 24, 2017
The new minor, Social Studies of Mental Health and Addiction, was created by the Faculty of Social Sciences in response to growing student demand for courses focused on mental health and wellbeing.
Students who minor in mental health will be able to take a wide variety of courses, on topics such as drugs and alcohol, aging, sexual deviance and social psychology.
Students will also have the opportunity to study the issues facing Canada’s Indigenous communities, including the history of the Residential Schools program, as well as become familiar with traditional Indigenous medicine.
“Mental illness is the fifth-leading cause of disability in the world, and the second-leading cause in industrialized countries,” says Jim Dunn, Chair of the Health, Aging and Society department. “It touches everybody, and increased social awareness contributes to more open conversations, which will help to end the stigma surrounding mental illness.”
Mat Savelli, who teaches a number of courses included in the minor, stresses the importance of studying a broad array of subjects to truly understand mental health issues.
“For too long, there’s been a mistaken belief that mental health is just a personal issue,” he says. “But to really understand these issues, you have to view mental health through a societal lens.
“To me, there’s no more profound a way to understand a society than to understand its views and behaviours toward mental health.”
To qualify for the minor, students will need to take at least 24 units from a list of courses, found here, and can declare a minor when completing Convocation information. Students in any Honours BA program are eligible for the minor.
Original article published in the McMaster Daily News