Helping Ontario's colleges and universities enhance capacity to support student mental health and well-being

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CACUSS Community of Practice for Campus Mental Health Inventory

The CACUSS Community of Practice for Campus Mental Health developed an online, interactive inventory that is designed to help colleges, institutes, and universities self-evaluate and plan action systemically supporting mental health on campus. This inventory is supplementary to the Post-Secondary Student Mental Health: Guide to a Systemic Approach. It expands Appendix C of the Guide into a process that is aimed to help campuses assess strengths, areas of growth and identify potential campus-specific outcomes regarding student mental health. They recommend using the inventory in conjunction with the Guide, and recommend the following steps:

  1. Identify key stakeholders in each of the seven areas and invite them for a two to three-hour session. 
  2. Include at least one student and one student leader with knowledge/expertise relating to each of the seven areas. 
  3. Divide the large group into the seven smaller groups identified by the Guide. Make sure each group has at least one individual with expertise in that specific area. For example, Group One (Institutional Structure) ought to have at least one individual involved with organizational planning and policy, and Group Seven (Crisis Management) should have someone who directly deals with crisis management or has expertise in this area. The rest of the members could be from any area involved directly or indirectly with student mental health. The size of each group can vary from campus to campus. We recommend having at least three members in each of the seven groups.
  4. Provide each group a hard copy of the Guide and the inventory, marking their assigned area. The group may also complete the inventory digitally. 
  5. Ask the group to identify one moderator, one note taker and one spokesperson. 
  6. Allow sufficient time for each group to complete the items in their specific area. 
  7. Larger Group Debrief: Each group presents their observations turn by turn. 
  8. For each group, the assigned note taker’s role is to capture the summary of the document key points discussed in the larger group discussion. 
  9. Collect each group’s papers and summarize the findings, identify key themes, and discuss potential achievable actions—all contributing to developing, refining, and implementing a Systemic Approach to Mental Health. 
  10. Decide to repeat the process periodically to assess progress or incorporate emerging needs.

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