Teaching young people about mental health and asking for help when they need it is a skill that will help keep them safe, build their emotional resilience, and serve them well their whole lives.

As members of the Elon community, we each share a personal responsibility to express concern for one another and to ensure that the classroom and the campus as a whole remain a healthy environment for learning.  Occasionally, you may become worried or concerned about a student’s well-being.  When this is the case, please share these concerns with the student. Students appreciate the care and concern expressed when a faculty or staff member reaches out about concerns for their welfare. If you need additional support in addressing the situation or feel that the student may need additional support, contact the Student Care and Outreach staff.  Although you can report concerns anonymously, it is preferred that you share your contact information so they can follow up with you personally.

Steps to Take

  • Learn About It: Before students arrive to your class, seek out training opportunities to enhance your own understanding of the challenges many students face, how it may lead to distress, and how you can help support them through it.  Elon provides several training opportunities to support mental health efforts on our campus and in the classroom: Kognito At-Risk, QPR, Mental Health First Aid and/or CATL workshops.
  • Talk About It: Begin your semester by telling the class that students can come to you when they are struggling and reiterate that message during high-pressure times, such as exams or charged political or campus events. Facilitate a conversation in class surrounding mental health and co-construct class norms at the beginning of the semester. Remind students of your availability and check-in with them about their mental well-being often. Create a classroom environment that is motivating, fosters competence, autonomy and a sense of belonging. Consider flexibility in your assessments, assignments and grading.
  • Encourage Self-Care and the Act-Belong-Commit framework: Elon University is committed to fostering holistic wellness of all community members through encouraging positive mental health through the Act-Belong-Commit Framework. The Act-Belong-Commit framework supports work around positive mental health and holistic well-being. This campaign is aimed to both build and inspire a culture of health on Elon’s campus. It is the intentional engagement in the three pillars (Act-Belong-Commit) that lead to an active, resilient and mentally healthy community:

Act: Do something
Belong: Do something with someone
Commit: Do something meaningful

Having an effective self-care routine is foundational to emotional and physical well-being and consistent with the Act-Belong-Commit framework. The following tips can be engaged in conversation around self-care with your students:

Connect with friends and family

Become involved in your university community

Spend time outdoors and play

Set healthy boundaries

Engage in physical activity or any kind of movement that makes you feel good

Eat healthier

Get at least 7 hours of sleep

Engage in other mindfulness practices (i.e. breathing, meditation, etc)

Take the time to celebrate your accomplishments no matter how small or large

  • Know Your Resources: The following resources are available to students if they are in distress or experiencing a crisis. (Include campus resources in your syllabi.)

Counseling Services

TimelyCare Virtual Services

Campus Recreation & Wellness

Disabilities Resources

Campus Safety and Police


Mentoring with Mental Health in Mind