Staff, tutors and mentors are in a good position to detect early signs of trouble, especially in smaller classes. Very few mental illnesses of a serious nature occur without a great deal of warning, though some may be of only a few days' duration.
This Staff Guide to Supporting Students with Mental Health Difficulties is one of a number of initiatives at Stellenbosch University (SU) intended to promote a campus environment conducive to mental well-being. Staff who have been in the front line of student care for many years will already be familiar with most of what follows, but many staff members encounter such issues infrequently. This Guide is primarily for them.
Aims of this Guide:
- Raise awareness among staff about the range of experiences, behaviours and characteristics which may indicate that a student has mental health difficulties.
- Provide a step-by-step guide for staff on how to respond in such situations, especially in a crisis.
- Outline resources for further advice, information and support for staff and students.
The co-ordination and overseeing of student welfare within the University is the responsibility of the Division of Student Affairs (DSAf), within which the Centre for Student Counselling and Development (CSCD) is located. The CSCD consists of five units – Psychotherapeutic and Support Services, Academic Counselling and Development, Graduand Career Services, Disabilities, and Equality. Each unit provides specialised support and services. The Equality Unit provides additional support to staff, while the others are dedicated to students.
Click here to download the Staff Guide to Supporting Students with Mental Health Difficulties.
If you require further support, please contact the Centre for Student Counselling and Development at firstname.lastname@example.org or 021 808 4707. Our 24-hour Emergency Service, in collaboration with ER24, is available at 010 205 3032.
Please distribute this information in your Faculty and Division.
We welcome feedback on this guide. Please let us know if there is a need for additional resource to be included in the Guide, by contacting Dr Munita Dunn-Coetzee at email@example.com.