Big Picture Planning and Strategy

Big Picture Planning and Strategy

This is where you set the North Star for your term. During this phase you will refine your vision and goals, define specific outcomes, and create a plan for moving ahead on those outcomes. That plan will include a portfolio of projects and programs, and will let you apply for funding similar to ACMHI and other grants.

During your time developing your vision and specific activities you will find all the toolkit tools to be helpful—this is the stage where they are the most important in setting you on the right course for your school.


  • What is the big picture vision already? How can we build on it?
  • What are students’ needs on campus? Off? How do you know?
  • What is our current portfolio? Are we too thin, or too concentrated?
  • Where do we want to play in the wellness and illness efforts across campus?
  • How will we succeed in those areas? How can we measure our success?


  • Work to build momentum by focusing on successes, momentum, and relationships.
  • Interview 10-20 students to hear their stories about mental wellness.
  • Use questions that prompt stories, like “tell me about the last time you were feeling really stressed.” “What helped you manage?”
  • Consider funding priorities as you plan–if the focus for funders is not clear, then ask follow up questions.
  • Think of the headline and copy for an article about mental wellness on campus one year from now. What changes? (Especially people’s behaviours).
  • Work backwards from the big picture to meaningful and measurable results that you would see along the way.
  • Plan activities that build on current know how and resources that will get you to those results.
  • Create a list of specific projects, activities, and initiatives that help tell a bigger story that supports your vision and a mentally healthy campus.
  • Make evaluation part of your plan throughout the year, not just at the end.
  • Set a quarterly inspirational objective and three measurable results that will let you know you achieved it. Use this in your ongoing planning, programs, and reporting.
  • Apply for grants similar to ACMHI or other funding as available.

Things to consider collectively:

  • Look at past activities in other institutions for new ideas for your school.
  • Share your early ideas with peers at other schools for feedback.
  • Review your plans with ASEC staff
  • Get feedback and advice on your evaluation plans.
  • What is the Alberta story, and how are you part of it?