Actions faculty can take

Faculty can be proactive in promoting student wellness in several ways. This work can be done at the course level, program/department level and/or the faculty level.

Below are suggestions for a range of things that can be done in the classroom, whether in-person or online, to help support student mental well-being. It is important to be proactive and gain an understanding of the process of connecting students to services on campus. You may want to contact your health and wellness or counselling centre to get a better understanding of the services available on your campus and how to refer to these services.

Prior to bringing these tools into the classroom, take a mental health literacy training, like More Feet on the Ground, to learn more about how to recognize when students are having mental health issues and how to support them.

Note: Before engaging with students in this way, be sure to define personal limits and set boundaries. Faculty/teaching staff are not expected to be a mental health expert or provide counselling. One way to maintain boundaries is to ask students only for the information needed to make a referral for them (e.g. you do not need to know if they have a specific diagnosis).

Be sure to also respect student confidentiality. Do not share or record more personal information than necessary and be honest with students about the level of confidentiality you can provide (e.g. let them know that if they are in imminent danger, you will need to share that information with the campus health centre to get them help).

Karolina Kulinska, Lambton College (2020), Baik et al. (2019)
Baik et al., 2019, (2019), CICMH (2020), SFU (2020)

Guide: PDF Version