The Whole Student

Note: Content on this page is still in development. 

We know that it is important for students to learn and achieve academically in order to prepare for their futures, whether in the workforce, academia, or somewhere else. Taking steps to support students holistically and have the resources to flourish contributes to academic success.  Fostering overall well-being in our students can help them succeed in the classroom and beyond. Each of the conditions of well-being in the Well-being in Academic Environments Tool Kit contribute to this success.  

General Well-Being Practices

Students who reported poor mental health but did not qualify for a diagnosis were three times more likely to experience academic impairment than students who reported a flourishing mental health state (Keyes et al., 2013). This research suggests that the mere absence of a mental-health disorder does not indicate flourishing mental health, and that positive factors such as social connection, emotional well-being and psychological health can help to protect students from academic impairment.

  • Remember your students are human, and so are you.
  • Understand and try to reduce the power dynamic between you and students.
  • Use authentic self-disclosure. For learning, share mistakes and vulnerabilities and how you deal with them.
  • Bring your passion into your teaching.
  • Use humor if possible.
  • Talk about mental health openly to de-stigmatize it.
  • Share ways that you practice self-care, and have students share how they practice it as well.
  • Include information in your syllabus and in student communication about mental health.
  • Familiarize yourself and educate your students about the mental health support resources on this campus. See the Supporting Students in Distress page for more information.
  • Show students the YOU@CSU portal and how to use it. See the Supporting Students in Distress page for more information.

“The more humanized the professors seem, the better you can handle understanding where they're coming from with giving assignments, and the less stressed you feel about going to talk to them."

—Student 

"I try to be honest with students that although I’m a professor…I have been in their seats and their space. I have been overwhelmed, anxious, and depressed. So I guess I try to humanize myself and our roles a little bit."