Creating a Culture of Caring

Student mental health is a growing issue at colleges and universities. According to research, nearly 7 million students nationwide meet the criteria for a clinically significant mental health problem.

While most are not clinicians, faculty can play an essential role as helpers, supporting students through practical approaches. Now more than ever before, there is a pressing need to provide faculty with the tools and resources to support students in coping with mental health challenges.

ACUE and Active Minds, the nation’s premier nonprofit organization supporting mental health promotion and education for young adults, have partnered to release Creating a Culture of Caring: Practical Approaches for College and University Faculty to Support Student Wellbeing and Mental Health. This report will serve as an important resource, complementing institutional resources, for faculty.

The report offers four key recommendations for supporting students with mental health concerns:

1. Normalize the need for help

2. Actively listen with Validate, Appreciate, and Refer (V-A-R)

3. Embed courses with wellbeing practices

4. Practice self-care and seek resources when needed

For each recommendation, the report outlines steps for implementing the practice, examples, and more. By following these student- and faculty-informed recommendations, instructors can take appropriate action to support students’ wellbeing and academic success.

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