Make An Impact

Notice opportunities to support student mental health and learn the signs that someone's struggling.

Support Mental Health & Wellness

Support mental health and wellness by noticing how your students are feeling and finding opportunities to promote wellbeing. This can happen through formal policies and documents or more casually through setting the tone at the start of class. Noticing is the first step toward making meaningful change.

Areas to practice noticing:

  • How you already support mental health and wellbeing
  • The kinds of support students are asking for
  • How you set the tone
  • The pace of your class and how it impacts students
  • Opportunities for flexibility
  • Opportunities to pause

Noticing Strategies:

Beginner's Mind

Pretend you're seeing your class for the first time. What stands out to you? Remain curious and open to learning something new. 

One Question Quest

Choose one question to notice before each class. Take notes on what you discover. Questions to get you started: 

  • How do I set the tone?
  • How do the students sound today?
  • Where is there room for flexibility? 

Check Out Survey

Have students "check out" after class by formally or informally rating their wellbeing and understanding of the material you covered.

Start the Conversation

Get to know your students and make wellbeing approachable with questions like: 

  • How do you practice self-care?
  • What classes excite you the most?
  • What's your vision for the future?

Learn the Signs that Someone's Struggling

We can all use a little support sometimes, whether we're facing a large struggle or an everyday challenge. Learning the signs below can help you identify students who are struggling, offer the level of support you can, and encourage them to get professional help when needed.

teacher standing next to a student sitting in a desk

Change is the key. If you notice a sudden, dramatic, or lasting change in any of the areas below, it may be a good time to check in with that student.

  • Appetite
  • Sleep
  • Uncharacteristic behavior
  • Energy
  • Hygiene
  • Weight
  • Appearance
  • Mood
  • Attendance
  • Grades/performance
  • Engagement

When Immediate Help Is Needed

    While everyone experiences ups and downs, there are also signs that someone is in immediate need of help. Stay mindful of expressions of despair, hopelessness, suicidal thinking, or self harm. Those expression might sound like: 

    • I can't stand the pressure anymore
    • Cutting myself is the only thing that helps
    • Everything’s pointless 
    • Is it even worth being here at all?
    • I wish I could just go to sleep forever/not exist 
    • There’s no way out
    • I have no reason to live
    • I’m such a burden
    • I just want to die/get hit by a car
    • Everyone would be better off without me

    Options for assistance: call CAPS at 520-621-3334 for consultation and crisis support, community crisis line: 520-622-6000, or call 911 in an emergency. 

    When you're not sure what to say, remember CARE.

    CARE with these Steps