Whether you are a faculty, staff or teaching assistant, you each have the unique opportunity to create and foster positive learning environments at UC Davis.
Supporting Students in Distress
The Red Folder serves as a quick reference guide to mental health resources for faculty/staff and graduate teaching/ research assistants who may interact with distressing or distressed students. The folder identifies common signs of student distress and directs faculty/staff and graduate teaching/research assistants through campus protocol to clarify who they should contact in the event of an emergency. The folders also provide tips for how to approach a student who may be in distress and connect that student with the appropriate resource.
Supporting Well-being in Your Classroom
Integrating Well-being Into Learning Environments Guide
Health Education and Promotion (HEP), in partnership with Healthy UC Davis, customized the Integrating Well-being Into Learning Environments Guide to suit the UC Davis campus needs. Healthy UC Davis, a member of the Healthy Campus Network, has customized this document for the UC Davis community. In this guide, you will find tips and suggestions ranging from encouraging breaks, standing, stretching and reflection, to incorporating opportunities for students to develop their professional and personal skills. You can also find other resources from higher education institutions, example syllabi verbiage, as well as UC Davis campus resources that students can access.
UC Davis Wellness Syllabi Statement
The suggested syllabus language was developed in 2020 by members of the Enhancing Student Wellness Community of Practice. The Enhancing Student Wellness Community of Practice is a project established and managed by Mark Winey, Dean of the College of Biological Sciences, and Cory Vu, Associate Vice Chancellor for Health, Wellness, and Divisional Resources. The Community of Practice includes over 50 campus leaders – staff, students and faculty – representing a comprehensive array of student-support programs.
Instructors are encouraged to accommodate students to the greatest extent possible without pressuring students to reveal personal medical information. If possible and appropriate for the course, providing recordings (audio or video) from the current quarter or a previous quarter may be helpful. A good practice would be to encourage students to have a backup plan in the event they can’t attend classes. The Committee on Courses of Instruction as provided some information on resources for instructional accommodations. For students with a qualifying diagnosis, the Student Disability Center can work to obtain the appropriate accommodations students are entitled to by law.
Trainings for Staff and Faculty
Question, Persuade Refer (QPR) training is a nationally recognized training program on how to support and talk to someone about suicide. An in-person/virtual (Zoom) version of this training is available for groups of staff and faculty through the Gatekeepers training program. To inquire about this please email firstname.lastname@example.org at least 3-4 weeks in advance to schedule the live 2-hour training.
Alternatively, this training is available to all UC Davis students, staff and faculty online through a self-guided module. Use the code UCDAVIS to access the training using your UC Davis login and kerberos passphrase.
Mental Health First Aid
Mental Health First Aid training is a longer-form, nationally-recognized, comprehensive training program that covers many mental health topics. Yolo County provides these trainings on campus in partnership with Health Education and Promotion to any students, staff or faculty who want to join. Topics covered include:
- Risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems
- Information on depression, anxiety, trauma, psychosis and addiction disorders
- A 5-step action plan to help someone developing a mental health problem or in crisis
- Where to turn for help — professional, peer and self-help resources
Working with Distressed and Distressing Students
You may encounter students who lead you to be concerned, fearful or even angry due to the student’s outward behavior. The Office of Student Support and Student Judicial Affairs (OSSJA) is a resource to help you in these situations. Some may hesitate to contact OSSJA because they do not want to get a student in trouble. This workshop will explain the role of OSSJA, review strategies about how to interact with distressed and distressing students and describe the university's team approach to assist you. Participants will engage in small group discussions while analyzing common student case studies and learn about the resources available for both staff and students.