Supporting Student Mental Health

Learn about successful, evidence-based practices for supporting students’ mental health across the curriculum at UAF. This Community Seminar was hosted by Mat Wooller, Director of Alaska Stable Isotope Facility and founder of UAF’s The Well, Jen Peterson, Assistant Professor of Psychology, and Mareca Guthrie, Curator of Fine Arts & Associate Professor of Art. Watch the Zoom recording and browse more resources on these topics below.

Review Mareca Guthrie’s slides

More Resources

  1. Creating a Culture of Caring (16 page pdf). This is an excellent resource from Active Minds and ACUE is full of practical strategies for how to implement the four recommendations that came out of their research and interviews with students:
  • Normalize the need for help

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

  • Embed courses with wellbeing practices

  • Practice self-care and seek resources when needed

Syllabus resources

Basic Needs Statement from this article:

Any student who faces challenges securing their food or housing and believes this may affect their performance in the course is urged to contact the Dean of Students for support. Furthermore, please notify the professor if you are comfortable in doing so. This will enable her to provide any resources that she may possess.

Basic Needs statement template from the Culture of Caring pdf:

Any student who is struggling for any reason and believes this may impact your performance in the course is urged to contact the Dean of Students at (XXX)XXX-XXXX for support. Furthermore, please approach me if you are comfortable in doing so. This will enable me to provide any resources or accommodations that I can. If immediate mental health assistance is needed, call Student Counseling and Psychological Services at (XXX)XXX-XXXX.

Cruelty-free syllabus:

Trust students. Seek out the distrust and cruelty in your syllabus. Be rigorous, definitely — be fierce in your commitment to intellectual exploration and curiosity, but know that distrust and cruelty are the enemies of exploration, the enemies of curiosity. -Matthew Cheney

Matthew Cheney’s recent blog post on this topic and his older blog post on how his thinking changed regarding the purpose of his syllabi. You can access examples of Cheney’s syllabi here and here or view his presentation slides on developing your own. Finally, listen to an interview with Matthew Cheney on the Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast.

Community Seminars in Teaching and Learning invites UAF teachers to learn from one another. Seminars are led by faculty who’ve had success with a particular aspect of or approach to teaching and learning. By discussing their experiences as well as topical resources and research with participants, teachers learn in community.

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