Pre-conference workshop 2

Date: Jun 23, 2019
Time: 9:30 a.m. –12:30 p.m.
Hosted By: BCCIE
Location: Fairmont Château Whistler
City: Whistler, BC
Cost: $99


Mental health and wellbeing strategies: Models and resources non-clinical support service units can leverage to address the whole student

Health and wellbeing directly contribute to student success. Across North America, campuses and students are reporting through the National College Health Assessment the poor mental health of students as a major stress negatively affecting this success. Non-clinical support services experience this stress as well.

Institutions respond to these issues with a focus on clinical services and supports, as poor mental health is often seen as an illness and clinical issue. Connecting the student to these clinical resources is sometimes too late and can feel non-collaborative and like a black-box of confidentiality.

Adding additional clinical supports may very well be necessary; however, this alone is a reactive, tactical response to an issue that requires a proactive, strategic, and whole campus solution. Leveraging resources and initiatives from across the institution can be an effective way to ensure that wellbeing is holistically addressed, with an appropriate international lens.

Our workshop will engage participants in exploring some of the issues facing non-clinical support services and departments; and use contemporary health promotion practices, mental health frameworks, and real-life examples to:

  • Understand the difference between illness, resilience and flourishing to identify opportunities through a strengths-based approach
  • Identify opportunities for collaboration with others on campus
  • Understand what support and collaboration to expect from clinical units
  • Navigating confidentiality
  • Use a variety of perspectives to create more holistic supports leveraging the whole campus

These topics will be framed interactively using:

  • Mental illness and Flourishing models
  • The Okanagan Charter: An International Charter for Health Promoting Universities and Colleges 
  • Post-Secondary Student Mental Health: Guide to a Systemic Approach
  • SFU’s Healthy Campus Community Initiative and the Areas of Action 
  • A holistic and non-clinical Mental Wellbeing Framework – A tool to understand opportunities through the three lenses of “Settings/Environments," “Services/Supports,” and “Education/Stigma Reduction"

We will also discuss upcoming opportunities to provide feedback to the development of national standards for the psychological health and safety of post-secondary students that the Mental Health Commission of Canada will release in June.


Karin Kosarzova, Manager, International Student Advising and Programs, SFU.

Martin Mroz, Director of Heath and Counselling, SFU.