Ideas for Policy Change

Crisis Navigations Charts

Crisis navigation charts are a great way of visualizing your campus’ mental health crisis response policy. These types of navigation charts should be clearly visible, identifiable, and prominently displayed all throughout your campus (e.g., plastered in thoroughfares, on the back of bathroom stall doors).

Example Charts

Identifying and Responding to Students in DistressCredit: York University

Responding to Students in DistressCredit: Trent University

How to Report Concerning Student Behaviour and ActivityCredit: Sheridan College


A mental health crisis response website can be a one-stop shop for anyone on campus who is navigating how to support a student experiencing a crisis or looking for mental health crisis resources. These websites should be frequently advertised and shared with faculty, staff and students.

Mental Health Syllabi Statement

A statement in the syllabus can send a positive signal of support for students’ learning and well-being by including recommendations and encouragement for students to take care of themselves and seek help when they need it. The statement might also be used to encourage classroom conversations about the stigma that keeps students from accessing supports.

Example Statement:

As a university student, you may sometimes experience mental health concerns or stressful events that interfere with your academic performance and negatively impact your daily activities.

All of us can benefit from support during times of struggle. If you or anyone you know experiences academic stress, difficult life events or feelings of anxiety or depression, Student Health and Wellness is here to help. Their services are free for Lakehead Students and appointments are available. You can learn more about confidential mental health services available on and off campus at

Remember that getting help is a smart and courageous thing to do – for yourself, for those you care about, and for those who care about you. Asking for support sooner rather than later is almost always helpful.

You could also choose to include a slide with the statement in your lecture. Student Health and Wellness can also provide a short presentation about the wellness services on campus.

For more information on embedding mental health into the classroom take a look at CICMH’s
Mental Health and the Learning Environment toolkit and Creating Student Focussed Syllabi: A Tool for Instructors (from UBC Department of Psychology).

Email Signature

Email signatures are regularly used to communicate information. Using your email signature to communicate your working hours can help to support your own work-life balance and create realistic expectations of response time for students. Linking to a resource guide within your signature, if possible, can help to redirect students to other supports if you do not immediately respond. Students will still be aware of the support and resources available to them and will be encouraged to access them when needed.

Example signature line:

PLEASE NOTE MY WORK HOURS: I check and respond to emails during my working hours of Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. I will not regularly see or respond to emails outside of these hours.

Are you ok? Our How to ask for Help at Lakehead guide was made for you.

Need to talk to someone right now? Good2Talk is a free, confidential 24/7 post-secondary student helpline. Call 1-866-925-5454 or text GOOD2TALKON to 686868.

Guide: PDF Version