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Mental Health Crisis Response Recommendations for Colleges and Universities

Based on the information above, CICMH has outlined recommendations that all schools should keep in mind when creating whole-campus mental health crisis response policies.

  • Move away from a siloed, department-specific approach and towards a collaborative, whole-campus approach to mental health crisis response.
    • No one department should be responsible for mental health crisis response. Students in crisis show up at all sorts of places on campus, not just at health and wellness or the counselling department.
  • Create comprehensive policies that address how mental health crises will be managed on campus
  • Ensure these policies are easy to comprehend by representing them in different ways, such as a stepped approach or a flowchart.
  • Identify internal and external stakeholders who contribute to supporting students experiencing a mental health crisis. Determine if other relationships or capacity-building needs to be enhanced
  • Create partnerships and agreements between post-secondary institutions and community resources
  • Be aware of the effects of policing on certain student populations
  • All faculty and staff should receive appropriate training based upon their role on campus
  • Consider creating behavioural intervention response teams
  • Integrate health and counselling services for a holistic and comprehensive approach to student care
  • Establish discharge protocols in partnership with local hospitals that include follow-up with campus services
  • Improve ease of navigation and raise awareness of crisis counselling services that are accessible 24/7 worldwide
    • This is beneficial both in the moment of a crisis and as a preventative measure so that folks can get informed about service offerings before a need arises.
  • Investigate the reasons for the underutilization of counselling services

Guide: PDF Version