About This Guide

The graduate student mental health toolkit is a guide to supporting students prepared by the Centre for Innovation in Campus Mental Health (CICMH).

This guide is part of a province wide effort to enhance student mental health by promoting positive mental health and well-being at post-secondary institutions.

Target Users

Target UsersThis guide targets student leaders, frontline staff, faculty members, graduate student supervisors and program leaders who directly interact with students as a part of their roles and responsibilities, in addition to policy makers and strategic planners who indirectly influence the experiences of students. Readers are encouraged to use this guide to consider the accessibility of resources and how services can be expanded to support student retention, time to degree completion and success.


PurposeThis toolkit aims to take a meaningful approach to offering guidance on how to support graduate students from all walks of life, whether in need of mental health and addictions supports or not, and the suggestions provided are meant to enhance campus experiences for graduate students in the long term. “Graduate students” refers to students in post-bachelor professional programs, master’s, doctoral and post-doctoral students.

What to expect/how it can be used

This toolkit discusses the unique challenges faced by graduate students, their impacts on mental health, and the importance of addressing pre-existing conditions in campus life. This is not a definitive resource as the experiences, perspectives and approaches of students are diverse across the province and informed by their lived experiences. However, the steps and strategies outlined provide a foundation for learning, reflecting and engaging.


Special appreciation is given to Pearlyn Ng (CICMH), Marija Padjen (CICMH) Gaya Arasaratnam (Concordia University), Peter Pawelek (Concordia University), Kristy Clarke (Concordia University), Kathleen Clarke (Wilfred Laurier University), Anita Vlaar (Trent University), and Sheldon James Hill (Western University) for their significant contributions to this project.

A sincere thank you to the graduate students from post-secondary institutions across Ontario who were consulted during the creation of this toolkit.

Guide: PDF Version