Conceptual Framework

The following conceptual framework is drawn from Post-Secondary Student Mental Health: Guide to a Systemic Approach, though it is here expanded to reference all members of the campus community (students and employees).  The model illustrates the broad areas of a systemic approach to post-secondary mental health identified for strategy development across three target populations: all members, members with concerns about coping in this demanding context, and members with other mental health concerns.

In addition to the areas of action covered in the model, campus engagement, planning and action are essential to promoting campus mental health.  Learn more about the process of engagement with recommended steps and processes for engaging a campus community on the Campus Engagement, Planning and Action page.

Scroll and click on each of the seven components to learn more about each area.

We encourage all campuses to take action and model a systems wide approach to create a campus environment that is conducive to mental health and learning. Such an approach:

  • Is comprehensive, and views the whole campus as the domain to be addressed and as responsible for enhancing and maintaining the mental health of community members; extends the focus beyond the individual and strategies such as treatment, skill building and awareness to the whole campus including its environment, organizational structure, policies and practices.

  • Creates environmental conditions for the flourishing of all members that are grounded in values of social equity and sustainability; supports integrated development and capacity building; provides targeted programs for members who would benefit from assistance; and provides specialized services for members experiencing mental health issues.

  • Is member–directed, grounded in values of informed choice and inclusion of students’ voices in strategy development and decision-making, especially of members with lived experiences of mental health issues.

  • Involves all stakeholders in a collective, shared responsibility for creating campus environmental conditions that support member learning and mental health.


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