Dimension 2: Planning

This section contains resources on the following Standard clauses: psychosocial factors, gathering data, objectives, and targets, action plan, supportive/safe/inclusive environment, education and stigma reduction, and accessibility.

An Environmental Scan of Canadian Campus Mental Health Strategies

Developed by the Best Practices Network, the purpose of this scan is to support post-secondary institutions in their institutional mental health and wellness strategy development, by reporting on a review of Canadian campus mental health strategies. The Best Practices Network conducted an environmental scan of existing post-secondary mental health strategies across Canada from 2009 to 2019 and identified common and differing themes with respect to their development process, organizational structure, strategy components, key recommendations, and evaluation.

Webinar: Creating the Roadmap to a Campus Mental Health Strategy

In this webinar, jointly hosted by CICMH and HCA, participants learn about practical principles that can be applied to diverse campus environments when developing a mental health strategy and hear from two experienced campus community members as they highlight key learnings from their own campus journeys through facilitated (virtual) breakout rooms.

In It Together: Foundations for Promoting Mental Wellness in Campus Communities

Recognizing that Ontario must be proactive in addressing current challenges and responding to future challenges, the College Student Alliance, the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, Colleges Ontario, and the Council of Ontario Universities have come together to develop an action plan on post-secondary student mental health.

University of Victoria Student Mental Health Strategy

Framework to provide direction for the Division of Student Affairs and the broader University of Victoria community to review resources and opportunities comprehensively and proactively for mental health promotion, planning, and responsiveness in support of the student community. It is intended as a framework for the development and implementation of action plans to support positive student mental health and wellbeing to enhance all students’ potential for success.

Psychosocial Factors

Factors that can Affect Mental Health

Along with the social determinants of health, other factors may increase our stress levels and negatively impact our sense of wellbeing. This does not necessarily mean, however, that these factors will bring about a mental health condition. This More Feet on the Ground webpage is here to help you keep in mind how our mental health can sometimes be impacted when we go through common life experiences.

Individual, Interpersonal, and Institutional Level Factors Associated with the Mental Health of College Students

This USA-based study investigates the individual, interpersonal, and institutional level factors that are associated with overall mental health among college students. Data was collected from an online cross-sectional survey of 2,203 students currently enrolled at a large public United States university. The results showed that combined effects of individual and institutional level measures were associated with student mental health. Limited coping abilities and a perceived racially tense campus climate contributed to the psychological distress of college students. The study concluded that simultaneously addressing the individual and institutional level influences on mental health offers the most promising help for students.

Gathering Data, Objectives, and Targets

Webinar: Canadian Campus Wellbeing Survey

Healthy Minds | Healthy Campuses co-hosted a CICMH webinar on the Canadian Campus Wellbeing Survey (CCWS). The CCWS helps post-secondary institutions better assess student health and wellbeing on campuses, identify priorities for intervention, and increase capacity to link research with policy and practice.

Developing a Coordinated Canadian Post-Secondary Surveillance System: a Delphi Survey to Identify Measurement Priorities for the Canadian Campus Wellbeing Survey (CCWS)

Interventions that promote health and wellbeing among young adults are needed. Such interventions, however, require measurement tools that support intervention planning, monitoring, and evaluation. The primary purpose of this study is to describe the process in developing a framework for a Canadian post-secondary health surveillance tool, known as the Canadian Campus Wellbeing Survey.

National College Health Assessment Executive Summary 2022

The National College Health Assessment (NCHA) is a national research survey developed by the American College Health Association (ACHA), to collect data about student’s behaviours and perceptions on various health topics. This executive summary highlights the results of that survey.

Webinar: National College Health Assessment Information

This webinar hosted by HCA is an informative session on preparing and implementing the 2019 NCHA on campus.

Webinar: Compassionate Data Collection – Promoting Equity in Evaluation

This CICMH webinar discusses the importance behind collecting demographic data and how this data can be effectively used to promote equity in supporting students with their mental health.

NCHA Post-Data Collection: Analysis, Dissemination and Mobilization Webinar

In 2019, the NCHA proved to be an indispensable resource for many institutions in informing programming and engaging stakeholders around wellness. In this interactive webinar by HCA, guests explore ways to use the NCHA results.

Alberta Post-Secondary Mental Health and Addiction Framework

This framework outlines key concepts, considerations, and action strategies for addressing student mental health and addiction problems in post-secondary institutions. This collaborative document represents the perspectives of many stakeholders across the province. The goal of the framework is to provide comprehensive, systemic, and Alberta-specific ideas for the creation of healthy, inclusive, and resilient campus communities.


Other relevant resources mentioned earlier in the document:

Action Plans

Inventory for Campus Mental Health

This inventory is supplementary to the Post-Secondary Student Mental Health: Guide to a Systemic Approach (under Dimension 1: Leadership). It expands on Appendix C of the Guide into a process that aims to help you assess strengths, areas of growth, and identify potential campus-specific outcomes regarding student mental health.

A Guide to Campus Mental Health Action Planning

The Campus Mental Health Action Planning (CampusMHAP) Guide is a publication developed by The Jed Foundation (TJF) and Education Development Center (EDC), providing users with principles and recommendations to help post-secondary faculty and staff develop a plan to effectively promote mental health within their campus community. The CampusMHAP Guide accompanies a series of four webinars produced by TJF and EDC, Inc., archived on TJFs website.

FITA Manual: Translating Institutional Mental Health Intention into Program Action

This manual offers a clear model of student service that can be employed in starting up similar programs in post-secondary institutions and high schools. The research indicates that the From Intention to Action (FITA) program can make significant changes in the lives of students and the educational institutions that are central in building human capital. This program adds to the capacity to support highly vulnerable students and to improve mental health, achievement, and over time, retention.


Other relevant resources mentioned earlier in the document:

Supportive, Safe and Inclusive Post-Secondary Environment

Creating Wellbeing Through Physical Spaces at SFU

Learn how to enhance wellbeing through the design of new or existing physical spaces. Principles can be viewed here, and an infographic can be viewed here.

Webinar: Six Principles to Inform Action – Creating Inclusive Campuses for Autistic and Neurodivergent Students

This HCA webinar informs you of the six key principles, developed in collaboration with a team of autistic self-advocates, that support greater understanding, acceptance, and valuing of autism and neurodivergence. The principles of: Communication, Structure, Flexibility, Environment, Emotion and Connection will be shared, and each principle will include information and easy to implement strategies. The end goal is to be able to walk away empowered to action a variety of ally-based actions that create and foster environments where everyone can thrive at building healthy relationships, collaboration, and identifying and implementing proactive strategies for inclusion. A guide can also be found here.

Learning Shock

As numbers of international students increase within post-secondary institutions, learning shock or academic shock may be a prevalent phenomenon. Learning shock can occur among students when there is a notable change in the teaching or learning methods, depending on a change in geography, culture, or situation (pandemic or war). This CICMH infosheet explains what learning shock is, how learning and teaching methods can differ across cultures, how to support international students as they learn to navigate these changes and some resources to better equip yourself.

Mental Health and the Learning Environment Toolkit

This CICMH toolkit will help faculty and teaching staff take steps within the classroom in a collective effort to support student mental health. Webinars on this topic can also be viewed here and here.

Webinar: Accessibility and the Neurodiverse Campus Community

This CICMH webinar speaks about increasing accessibility to a full neurodiversity of thinkers in post-secondary spaces. The webinar dives into the concept of neurodiversity and discusses how we can incorporate this lens in building accessible practices throughout a campus community.

Embedding Conditions for Wellbeing in Academic Settings

This casebook highlights how conditions for wellbeing can be embedded within academic units. Conditions for wellbeing are defined, along with opportunities for action and examples from Simon Fraser faculties and departments. The examples included are not a comprehensive list but are instead intended to celebrate successes and inspire further action.

Graduate Students Mental Health and Wellbeing: A Toolkit

The National Graduate Caucus (NGC) of the Canadian Federation of Students engaged in a one-year research project to develop a graduate student mental health toolkit. This toolkit aims to equip graduate students’ communities to evaluate and improve the state of graduate students’ mental health and wellbeing at Canadian post-secondary institutions.

Intersectional Approaches to Mental Health Education: A Facilitators Guide

Developed by the University of British Columbia (UBC) Equity and Inclusion Office, this guide is designed to help support facilitators in supporting mental health literacy education from a place of equity, inclusion, and diversity. This guide looks at the intersections between mental health and other aspects such as race, sexuality, and gender, and aims to help support health promotion professionals in having conversations about the impacts of risk factors, stigmas, and discriminations as they relate to mental health.

International Students Toolkit

Over the past several years, there has been a marked increase in the recruitment of international students to Ontario’s post-secondary institutions. The mental health and wellbeing of international students are important topics for post-secondary institutions to address. Being far away from their home communities and cultural differences in the understanding of wellness make international students an important population for institutions to consider when developing supportive mental health and wellbeing services and programming. This toolkit, created by CICMH, aims to dissect key issues, and provide a fulsome understanding of how the unique vulnerability of international students intersects with daily life to mold mental health outcomes.

Campus Mental Health in Times of COVID-19 Pandemic: Data-Informed Challenges & Opportunities

This report presents synthesized perspectives on crisis management, how to respond to vulnerable students, and ensuring accessibility, inclusion, and ethos of social justice from multiple perspectives. This report includes voices of a nationally representative sample of mental health professionals and insights from emerging research findings. Towards the end of this report there are pragmatic ideas, suggestions, and recommendations to leave readers with ideas for actions to shape their campus-based mental health services according to the evolving circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sexual Violence Response on Campus

Created by CICMH, this toolkit targets stakeholders working in sexual violence offices across Ontario. The toolkit aims to provide campus stakeholders with the information necessary to improve or develop their sexual violence response programming, as well as to best support students who have experienced some form of sexual violence. The toolkit highlights the mental health impacts of sexual violence, the nuances of collecting data on sexual violence, and a collection of best and promising practices in sexual violence response.

Creating an Online Community

Learning online can be an adjustment for some students. The following tips for building an online community in your class can not only help students overcome feelings of isolation – the community can also enhance the learning experience for everyone in the class. By engaging learners as part of the group, learning can become both an active and interactive process, helping staff and students reach and achieve higher-order learning outcomes.

Racism Impacts Mental Health

This infographic, created by Alberta Health Services, Provincial Addiction & Mental Health – Knowledge Exchange, outlines the impact of racism on mental health, different forms of racism, harms of racism on mental health, racism in mental health services, and resources to learn additional information.

Webinar: Mental Health Supports for BIPOC Students

This CICMH webinar invites a panel of advisors, directors, and facilitators from numerous post-secondary Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) support programs from around the country to discuss their programming, why it is vital to support BIPOC students, gaps in current services, challenges, and how they would improve their own programming.


Other relevant resources mentioned earlier in the document:

Literacy, Education, and Stigma Reduction

Webinar: Embedding Wellness in Post-Secondary Learning and Experience – For-credit Wellness Courses

For-credit wellness courses accompany and help accelerate a paradigm shift in institutions’ priorities, services, and curricula. Embedding topics of mental health, wellbeing, and identity into the core curricula of post-secondary institutions helps generate a campus-wide culture of wellbeing and proactively sets students up for success. An information sheet on this topic can also be found here.

Webinar: Knock-out Stigma – Promoting Athlete Mental Health on Campus

Post-secondary athletes often face significant stress. Not only are they facing the pressures of excelling at their sport, but they are also doing so during a critical educational period in their life. From balancing their practices and class schedules to completing assignments and studying for exams, the mounting stress they experience can lead to anxiety and depression and impact their overall mental health and performance. This CICMH webinar aims to show how Talk Today, one of the most comprehensive mental health/sport-related programs in Canada, is breaking down the stigma of seeking help and promoting a safe environment for athletes to speak about their mental health challenges.

Webinar: Embedding Mental Health & Wellbeing in Higher Education Learning Environments

This webinar, hosted by Healthy Minds | Healthy Campuses, invites the University of Victoria and Simon Fraser University to discuss some key examples of how mental health & wellbeing have been embedded in higher education learning environments.

The Inquiring Mind

Developed by MHCC, the Inquiring Mind is an evidence-based program designed to promote mental health and reduce the stigma of mental illness in post-secondary settings.


Other relevant resources mentioned earlier in the document:


Recommendations for Documentation Standards and Guidelines for Academic Accommodations for Post-Secondary Students in Ontario with Mental Health Disabilities

This report outlines a series of recommendations for the post-secondary sector arising from a research study carried out by researchers from Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College. Funding for this 30-month project, was provided by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities under the Mental Health Innovation Fund.

Webinar: Supporting Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Many adults with autism struggle with the organizational and planning skills that fall under the umbrella of ‘executive function.’ These struggles become more problematic when young adults begin living apart from their parents and need to adapt to classes with less structure than in high school. An understanding of the needs of students with autism, along with support for their difficulties, can go a long way toward helping them succeed in institutions of higher education. This CICMH webinar looks at programming catered to students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at the post-secondary level.

Webinar: Intersecting Approaches to Student Wellness and Accessibility Services

Post-secondary students are increasingly seeking support for their mental health needs and their accommodation/accessibility needs – and often both. In this collaborative webinar, HCA and the Post-Secondary Accessibility and Disability Resource Association – Alberta (PADRA) communities explore approaches at the intersection of campus student wellness services and student accessibility services.

Post-Secondary Students with Mental Health Disabilities: A Guide to Academic Accommodations and Managing your Mental Health While on Campus

This guide is the product of a research study, undertaken jointly by Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College, and funded by the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities through the Mental Health Innovation Fund. The document has been reviewed by students with mental health disabilities, whose careful comments helped to shape the definitive version. While not legal advice, the legal section of the guide was reviewed by the law firm Hicks Morley.

Accessibility and Accommodations Toolkit

This CICMH toolkit is a guide for everyone in the campus community outside of accessibility services to learn how best to support post-secondary students with disabilities. This includes faculty, administrative staff, student leaders, student services, counselling services, health services, and others. The aim of the toolkit is to provide the campus community with a fulsome understanding of disability, accommodations, and accessibility, provide support and referrals to students when necessary, and to design their programming in the most accessible way possible. A webinar on this topic can also be found here.


Other relevant resources mentioned earlier in the document:

Guide: PDF Version