McGill University Professor of Psychiatry and CCMF Advisory fellow Robert Whitley is sounding the alarm on the men’s health crises on Canadian University and College campuses. He has issued an Open Letter calling on student governments and campus administrations to support the emergence of men’s issues awareness societies and men’s health support groups across Canada.

Learn more by reading:
Robert Whitley: Why men commit suicide
Rob Whitley: Men need different help for mental-health woes
Boy, Interrupted:Silent crisis of men’s mental health issues on campus

If you are a faculty member at a Canadian post-secondary institution or you are the authorized individual of an organization, please contact us to register your support for this Open Letter.

The letter can be downloaded at this link.

An Open Letter to University and College Administrations and Student Governments

04 December 2016

To whom it may concern

Men and women experience health, social and educational issues in different proportions.

For example, women have higher rates of depression, anxiety, eating disorders and are underrepresented in STEM disciplines in higher education.

In contrast, men have higher rates of suicide, substance abuse, and high-school drop-out. Men also make up only 40% of recent graduates at Canadian universities.

There are numerous groups on campuses across Canada that are addressing women’s issues and advocating for the progress of women. These are rarely seen as controversial and receive official support from various quarters.

However there are very few groups focused on men’s issues and the advancement of men’s health. In fact, incipient men’s issues groups have been refused accreditation by student unions, and some have even been protested with violence.

This is concerning as research shows that silence is detrimental to men’s health, and has been linked to suicide and substance abuse in men. Men’s issues and men’s health groups provide a positive space for the discussion of issues such as suicide, substance abuse, high-school drop-out, homelessness and incarceration; all issues that disproportionately affect men. Discussion can lead to action, which can lead to healthier men, healthier families, and a healthier society.

As such, we, the undersigned, support the creation and formation of men’s issues and men’s health groups on university campuses across Canada. We urge student unions and university administrations to support such groups, given that they aim to discuss and address the above serious societal issues along with many others with a focus on boys and men that are currently under-recognized.


Dr Rob Whitley
Dept of Psychiatry
McGill University


Dr. Rob Whitley, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University

Dr. Tonia Nicholls, Professor, Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Adjunct Professor, Simon Fraser University

Dr. Adam Jones, Professor, Political Science, University of British Columbia Okanagan

Dr. Paul Nathanson, Retired Researcher, Religious Studies, McGill University

Dr. Don Dutton, Professor, Psychology, University of British Columbia

Dr. Lionel Tiger, Charles Darwin Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers University

Dr. Dan Bilsker, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of B.C., Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University

Dr. Ferrel Christensen, Professor Emeritus, Philosophy, University of Alberta

Dr. Katherine K. Young, Professor Emeritus, School of Religious Studies, McGill

Dr. Janice Fiamengo, Professor of English, University of Ottawa

Dr. Lloyd Robertson, Master of Arts, Integrated Studies Program, Athabasca University

Barbara Kay, former English literature teacher, Concordia University, National Post Columnist

Dr. Jordan B Peterson, Professor of Psychology, University of Toronto

Dr. John Robson, PhD in U.S. History (1989), University of Texas at Austin, former teacher at University of Texas at Austin, University of Calgary, University of British Columbia and University of Ottawa

Dr. Philip Carl Salzman, Professor Emeritus, Department of Anthropology, McGill University

Dr. James S. Brown, Retired Associate Professor, Education, York University

Jean-Jacques Desgranges, MBA, LL.B., B.Ed., B.A. (Mus), teacher and coordinator, litigation practicum, University of Ottawa

Dr. Pat Kambhampati, Professor of Chemistry, McGill University

Dr. Gerald Lynch, Professor of English, University of Ottawa

Eleanor Levine MSW, RSW, Faculty-Field Liaison, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto

Dr. Paul Sandor MD, FRCPC, Professor and Wolf Family Chair in Neurodevelopmental Psychiatry, University of Toronto

Dr. Paul Ward, Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Waterloo

Dr. Miles Groth, Professor, Psychology, Wagner College

Dr. Oren Amitay, Professor, Psychology, Ryerson University

Dr. Samuel Veissière, Assistant Professor, Psychiatry & Anthropology, McGill University

Dr. Michael D. Ryall, Professor of Strategic Management, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

Dr. Edward Kruk, Associate Professor, Social Work, University of British Columbia

Dr. Eva Samery, Professor Emeritus, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Ryerson University

Dr. Lawrence Altrows, Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Community Services School of Urban and Regional Planning, Ryerson University

Non-Faculty Endorsements

Capt. Matthew Elliott, MSM, CD, MAIS