U-M counseling offices in collaboration with President Schlissel recently launched a new campaign with the motto “We’re here for you,” designed to increase community dialogue on mental and emotional health and normalize access to services. As a U-M instructor, you are likely aware that many of your students experience mental health challenges. What can you do within the bounds of your role to promote mental health and support students experiencing challenges?
CRLT’s latest Occasional Paper “Supporting Students Facing Mental Health Challenges” provides a starting point for faculty and GSIs interested in exploring this topic. As the paper emphasizes, you can take many steps in your role as an instructor to normalize a focus on students’ mental health and set up an academic experience that promotes growth and resilience.
In the Occasional Paper, you will find:
- A summary of research about the increasing numbers of students reporting mental health concerns at U-M and nationally
- Strategies to proactively support student mental well-being, including
- explicit instructions on how to provide language regarding mental health support on your syllabus
- suggestions for promoting self-care and wellness throughout the semester
- ways to normalize academic effort and struggle
- Principles that can productively shape interactions with students who disclose a mild to moderate level of distress, including
- attending to academic concerns while communicating care for students’ well-being
- striking a balance between accountability and reasonable flexibility
- making students aware of U-M’s support resources
- Practices for responding to students in severe distress, including
- discrete steps for securing immediate assistance for the student
- key offices to contact
To foster your efforts in this area, we are happy to meet and consult with you directly on ways to better support students facing mental health challenges. You can request a consultation through our website or call us at 734-764-0505.