Report on Student Health Listening Sessions

by Ainsley Carry

This blog post was adapted from a Report on Student Health Listening Sessions (0.5 MB pdf) originally developed by Dr. Ainsley Carry in November, 2019. 

At the start of the term, I launched a series of VPS listening sessions with students, to learn about the student experience at UBC in various areas. Topics for these first sessions were developed in consultation with elected members of the Alma Mater Society and Graduate Student Society.

This fall, listening sessions were centered on the delivery of student health care at UBC. Student health and wellbeing, which includes clinical care, mental health care, and health promotion and education, is one of our most important shared responsibilities.

From September 17 through October 21, 2019, the VPS Office hosted thirteen listening sessions in residence halls, the UBC Life building, classrooms, and conference rooms. Student organizations were invited to host sessions in their spaces for members of their clubs and organizations.


Nearly 400 undergraduate, graduate, international, domestic Vancouver and Okanagan students attended the sessions. Analysts from Planning and Institutional Research (PAIR) attended every session, took notes, and analyzed the data from the focus groups.


Five major themes emerged from the data: 

  1. Challenges with distribution and clarity of health-related information
  2. Navigating the different health resources and offices
  3. Communities of support
  4. Missing diversity in healthcare
  5. Limited accessibility to healthcare

Please see the full report (0.5 MB pdf) for a detailed summary of the major themes.

Moving forward

Student Health and Wellbeing is our most important shared responsibility. We are committed to working with UBC students, UBC health care professionals, and scholars to deliver the most comprehensive and informed student health system possible on a university campus. The intent here is to share the broad themes, so we can work together on more detailed solutions.


Thank you for your time and thoughts during the listening sessions on student health. I am grateful for the wisdom of your lived experience, and learned a lot from the feedback shared. I believe that open conversations like these are the best ways to exchange information that will lead to action and ongoing improvement. 

UBC takes student health seriously, and I look forward to working with you to ensure that we are providing the best care possible.