How to Access the Facilitator’s Guide, Slides, and Handouts
Capacity to Connect: Supporting Students’ Mental Health and Wellness includes a facilitator’s guide, an accompanying PowerPoint slide deck, Capacity to Connect: Supporting Students’ Mental Health and Wellness [PPTX], and handouts to share with participants.
Two handouts are available to download:
- Handout 1: Wellness Wheel
- Handout 2: Supporting Students in Distress (This handout includes the scenarios and suggested responses)
You may also want to bookmark (and have ready to play in a browser) these this video before offering a session:
- Brené Brown on Empathy (2:53 min.)
Capacity to Connect: Supporting Students’ Mental Health and Wellness was developed as part of BCcampus’s Mental Health and Wellness Projects to provide open educational resources to increase awareness of mental health and support for post-secondary students. This training session is one of a series of open educational resources on mental health available for the B.C. post-secondary sector.
This training was developed with funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training and guidance from an advisory group of students, staff, and faculty from B.C. post-secondary institutions.
How to Use This Resource
This resource is for facilitators presenting a two- to three-hour session to faculty and staff at post-secondary institutions. The training can be offered in person or online, and you are welcome to augment the training with your own stories, models, and examples.
The resource includes three components:
- Facilitator’s guide. The guide includes presentation notes, activities, and scenarios to help you deliver the training. You can download the guide as a PDF file before giving a session. The guide also has a Getting Ready section, with suggestions for preparing, adapting, and modifying the training.
- Slide deck. The guide has an accompanying PowerPoint slide deck that you can download. The slides can be formatted to meet your institution’s guidelines or slide deck templates. You can add slides or include contact information for counselling services, campus helplines, Indigenous student centres, and other services on your campus that support students.
- Handouts. The guide includes handouts that you can share with participants. You can format these handouts according to your institution’s guidelines (e.g., colours, fonts, logos). You can also adapt the information in them to reflect the needs and concerns of the group you are addressing.
Length of the Session
For a breakdown of the session, see the Detailed Agenda. The agenda assumes that you will offer the training over the course of two hours; however, you may want more time and could extend the session to two and a half or even three hours to allow time for more discussion and to give participants more time to work through the scenarios at the end. Some facilitators may want to offer the training over two sessions. While the training is adaptable, we recommend that you include the sections on marginalized groups as it is important to maintain the integrity and diversity of voice in this resource.
Creative Commons License
This training is an open educational resource and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, unless otherwise indicated. This means you may retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute this resource without permission. If you revise or remix the resource, it is important to include both the copyright holder of the original resource and the authors of this adapted version.
Capacity to Connect: Supporting Students’ Mental Health and Wellness is an open educational resource (OER) and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license, unless otherwise indicated.
Post-Secondary Students and Mental Health
Student life is a time of change, uncertainty, and challenges. Many post-secondary students are living away from home for the first time and are learning to balance very busy academic schedules with managing finances, building their social circles, and figuring out their interests and future careers. The stress of post-secondary education is felt by all students at some point, and it can be overwhelming for some.
When the National College Health Assessment surveyed Canadian students in 2019, they found that students’ academic performance was adversely affected by stress (42%), anxiety (35%), sleep difficulties (29%) and depression (24%) within the past 12 months. This same study found that 16% of students had seriously considered suicide over the prior year at least one time. People in their late teens and early 20s are also at the highest risk of all age groups for mental illness; in these years, first episodes of psychiatric disorders like major depression are most likely to appear. 
Post-secondary institutions are taking these statistics seriously and working to address students’ mental health and find ways to better support them. Everyone has a role to play. As faculty and staff have frequent contact with students, we are often in a position to recognize when a student may be struggling. Responding with empathy and knowing how to connect a student to campus services and resources such as counselling services can be critical factors in supporting a student in distress.
This training is an introduction to what we can all do to support students’ mental health and well-being. The presentation starts with a discussion of mental health and wellness and looks at ways to promote resilience. The training then provides advice on how to recognize and respond to a student in distress and how to refer students to the other supports.
- This chapter was adapted from Capacity to Connect: Supporting Students from Distress to Suicide © Vancouver Island University. Adapted by Barbara Johnston. CC BY 4.0 licence.
- 1. American College Health Association. (2019). American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment II: Canadian Reference Group executive summary Spring 2019. Silver Spring, MD: American College Health Association. ↵
- Queen’s University. (2012). Report of the principal’s commission on mental health. https://www.queensu.ca/principal/sites/webpublish.queensu.ca.opvcwww/files/files/CMHFinalReport.pdf ↵