Messages from concerned faculty, staff, and librarians

“BPMH is one of the most valuable and unique learning opportunities at the University of Toronto.”

Dr. Norman Farb

Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Toronto Mississauga

“The legacy of the BPMH program is not only that it supports mental well-being of students when they are in the program, it also has ripple effects that reach out through graduates of the program to build mental, spiritual and emotional well-being in the public at large.”

Drs. HyeRan Kim-Cragg & Pamela McCarroll

Principal and Vice Principal of Emmanuel College of Victoria University       

“Many students have told me that the BPMH program changed and even saved their lives.”

Dr. Jennifer Bright

PhD, RP, Assistant Professor Buddhist Spiritual Care and Counselling, Emmanuel College of Victoria University

“Shutting down an interdisciplinary humanities program focused on mental health in the midst of a student mental health crisis is an instance of arbitrary, callous, unwise, and misinformed administrative overreach into the academic workings of the university.”

Dr. Alex Djedovic

Lecturer, Cognitive Science Program, University College, Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, and Buddhism, Psychology, and Mental Health Program, New College

“It cannot be denied that there has been a mental health crisis on campus for at least a decade now. Part of this crisis stems from an academic system that is mute in the face of the trauma that students experience on campus and off…

“The classes in the BPMH Program, in contrast, are designed with trauma-aware pedagogy in mind, empowering the student in their learning trajectory. In my own class and from what I have heard from students in the program, the classes they took in BPMH were the first or even the only classes at the University of Toronto where they felt valued…

“A sanitized, purely objective, and positivistic image of Buddhism is merely a simulacrum of white supremacy, and it is only natural that a program which challenges such a simulacrum would engender hostility as it articulates and asserts itself in the university. I thus urge the administration not to reproduce this hostility in their policy.”

Dr. Tony Scott

Arts & Science Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto

“Supported by a growing body of scientific research, the efficacy of mindfulness meditation in alleviating medical and psychiatric illnesses is now well documented. The BPMH program, by aligning with these contemporary developments, offers students a unique opportunity to engage with and contribute to this evolving field.

“BPMH offers a unique educational experience, providing students with exposure to a rapidly expanding field of study, unmatched by any other academic institution.”

Dr. Henry Shiu

Shi Wu De Professor in Chinese Buddhist Studies, Emmanuel College of Victoria University

“To eliminate the Buddhism, Psychology, and Mental Health program is to step away from the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion goals of the University of Toronto. It is a step away from commitments to decolonization, a term that has been used cosmetically far too often by settler-colonial institutions.

“BPMH is an example of an academic program that centers worldviews outside of Eurocentrism. The program has created a community based in mindfulness, connection, and care.”

Mikayla Redden

BPMH Liaison Librarian, New College, granddaughter, daughter, sister, auntie, helper, and learner, Treaty 13, the Tkaronto Purchase

“As psychologists, we are quick to admit that our research and theories are biased toward Western knowledge traditions, but beyond pointing out this oversight, we tend to do very little to actually correct it.

“I believe the BPMH program is a real way to reconcile this disciplinary problem by providing students with more intellectually diverse and globally-aware approaches to the same problems they are tackling in their other courses. It is essential that we provide students with opportunities like this in order to pedagogically ground our aims to promote EDI at the university and beyond.”

Carolyn Guay

 Ph.D. candidate; Instructor in Department of Psychology

“One student came up to me after class, nearly in tears, to express her gratitude for the course. She called her Mondays, when we have class, her chance to ‘really be in the world.'”

Carolina Patryluk

BPMH Instructor 2023, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Psychology, Western University

“I strongly oppose the closure of this program at at a time when student mental health is severely challenged.”

Dr. John Miller

Professor, Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, OISE

“These courses are popular for their transdisciplinary nature. This is a defining feature of the BPMH – its courses integrate complex topics and offer substantiative intellectual diversity.”

Dr. Paul Whissell

Lecturer, Human Biology; Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health; Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

“Students share an appreciation for the pedagogical approach of the program that foregrounds the improvement of their own mental health as an integral part of the learning process.

“This is a rare gem among courses in a university where emotional and mental overload leading to burnout and even suicide have unfortunately become not uncommon”

Amber Moore

BPMH Instructor 2022, 2022-23 Senior Doctoral Fellow at New College, Ph.D. Candidate, Department for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto

“Pay attention to the many students and faculty who have written in support of BPMH. Breathe in, focusing your minds on ways to support and improve it.”

Dr. Franklin Tall

Professor Emeritus, Department of Mathematics

“For the past six years I have worked in the Division of Student Life planning and facilitating the mindfulness programming for students. During this time, I have seen the student engagement in this programming more than triple. Last year we saw roughly 6,000 student visits to this programming. I believe your registration has grown exponentially during this same time.

“Each week I meet students who are engaged in the BPMH minor, and they speak of how life changing their learning has been.”

Lauren A. Brown

M.Ed., Ph.D. Candidate, Inlight Fellow; Program Coordinator: Mindfulness, Meditation and Yoga; Multi-Faith Centre, Division of Student Life