Mapping the Role of Instructors in Canadian Post-Secondary Student Mental Health Support Systems

This study engaged in online document analysis to (a) locate the instructor’s position within student mental health support frameworks across Canadian colleges and universities, and (b) understand how their role is exactly defined and described. The role of instructors within student mental health support systems was detailed in 20 Canadian post-secondary institutions. Strategies to recognize, render, and redirect students were observed in most frameworks. For example, 45% of college and university support frameworks featured instructors engaging in compassionate narrative exchanges with students, which included instructors listening to student narratives with concern, no judgement, anti-discriminatory demeanor, and minimal interruption. Post-secondary institutions are urged to continue clearly defining and updating the role of instructors in post-secondary student mental health support frameworks.

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