T1 subpage 4 : Holistic approaches for mental health care on HE Campuses
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Holistic Approaches for Mental Health Care on HE Campuses

Research has underlined how modern higher education serves a wide array of students with differing needs, resources, and capacities (McEwan & Downie, 2019). Moreover, HEIs are facing financial dilemmas due to the unsustainable cost of traditional methods of providing mental health and other services, the increasing demand for mental health services, and the pressure to adhere to student-centred approaches when meeting the needs of their student bodies (Glass, 2019; Lipson et al., 2019; Rubley, 2017). To deal with the crisis in campus mental health care (Xiao, 2017) and the different mental healthcare needs of students (Lefevor et al., 2018; Pedrelli et al., 2016), HEI staff are conducting research and applying innovative holistic approaches to mental health care.

The theoretical and epistemological underpinnings of such holistic campus- and HEI-wide programming and initiatives are the ecological and campus community perspectives (Banning, 2016; Goodman, 2017; Kuk & Banning, 2016). Proponents of these perspectives focus on organisational, social, relational, and individual-level determinants of mental health and wellbeing. The interventions designed from these perspectives are intended to improve or sustain mental health and wellbeing by creating connections between health, learning, and the campus organisation and structure. From these perspectives, mental health and wellbeing are influenced by public policy, community determinants, institutional factors, interpersonal interactions, and intrapersonal factors (Goodman, 2017; McLeroy et al., 1988; Thomas & Banning, 2017).

  • How are policies and protocols developed at your HEI?
  • How are they monitored and enforced?
  • How can collaboration and cooperation be better achieved across the different sectors and services at your university so that policies and programming can meet students’ wellbeing needs?

Examples of programming that are based on a campus community perspective.

Mental health literacy (MHL) is defined as “knowledge and beliefs about mental health problems which aid their recognition, management or prevention” (Jorm et al., 1997, p. 182).MHL has several components, including the ability to recognise specific disorders, knowledge of causes, risk factors, and treatment, attitudes......

Peer support can be defined as help provided by and for people with similar problems or experiences, based on key principles of respect, shared responsibility, and a mutual agreement of what is helpful (Mead et al., 2001). Peer support programs could play a central role......

Faculty and HE staff have been identified in the relevant literature as potential gatekeepers who can help connect distressed students with available mental health services (Indelicato et al., 2011). However, members of the faculty and staff may not feel sufficiently prepared to offer their support......

  • What changes can you implement in the services provided at your university to enhance how they respond to students’ needs?