MSVU to modify wellness agreement after Global News investigation

Brody Stuart-Verner signed a wellness agreement with MSVU that stipulated he could not tell other students in his residence he was having suicidal thoughts. Steve Silva/Global News

Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU) is promising to alter a wellness agreement after a Global News investigation revealed the policy banned a young man from speaking out about suicidal thoughts.

Brody Stuart-Verner was given the agreement to sign last year to secure his stay in residence.

One of the stipulations was that he “will not discuss or engage in conversations with residence students regarding personal issues, namely the student’s self-destructive thoughts.”

Tuesday, the university posted a response on Facebook, saying it intends to “review and modify the agreement.”

“We don’t want any other student to feel the way Brody did. And we’re committed to continually improving,” the statement reads.

“We are consulting with our students’ union and will ensure the continued input of mental health professionals as we modify the agreement.”

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The students’ union, MSVUSU, also posted a response to the wellness agreement, calling it “upsetting” for the student, the family and the university community as a whole.

“We understand that this is a serious concern, and we are always dedicated to providing the supports needed to ensure the wellness of all students,” the MSVUSU post reads.

WATCH: MSVU student speaks out about wellness agreement that forced him to not tell other students in his residence about his suicidal thoughts

Click to play video: 'MSVU student not allowed to tell others he’s suicidal per school’s wellness agreement' MSVU student not allowed to tell others he’s suicidal per school’s wellness agreement
MSVU student not allowed to tell others he’s suicidal per school’s wellness agreement – May 16, 2016

Stuart-Verner said he was left feeling “ashamed and embarrassed” by the agreement — which the university said was put in place to ensure students didn’t seek help with mental health issues from friends.

Stuart-Verner spoke with a residence advisor about his suicidal feelings last September. He was called in and asked to sign the agreement about a week later.

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“I was given very little clarification and no ultimatums. It was either sign it or leave,” Stuart-Verner said Saturday.

“I was in such a fragile state that I felt like they had my best interests in mind. I felt like I should sign it, go along with it, I didn’t really feel like I had any leeway, I just wanted to get better.”

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