Student transitions that influence positive mental health and illness – Starter Set

The scenarios illustrate some types of transitions, but this tool is intended as a ‘starter set’ of possible transitions to be managed collaboratively by services and organizations. As regional hubs identify specific problems to be addressed in improving students’ access to and journey along multiple providers, these can be added to this toolkit.

Transitions are especially important to take into account, given the greater stress experienced in a transition. Students with capacity reserve may be able to navigate them using their own or ecosystem resources. Students who are pushed closer to the limits of their capacity will have greater likelihood of reverting to unproductive reactions as a result of the survival-oriented flight, fight or freeze patterns they’ve developed.

This Transitions worksheet is a way to keep track of the transitions management systems that are incorporated in a macro-strategy.

  1. In and out of post-secondary
    1. High School to post-secondary
    2. Post-secondary graduation and transition to work or other activity
    3. Certification program to Degree program, or Degree program to Graduate or Post-graduate program
    4. Transitions out and return to post-secondary – predictable (e.g. summers, mid-term breaks)
    5. Transitions out for a break related to a health condition – return not necessarily predictable.
  2. Geographic transition
    1. This might be triggered by different factors – e.g. High School to post-secondary, Programs which have Year 1 in a regional college with transition to large urban university for years 2-4). Note the associated stressors are at least additive – such a geographic transition involves re-establishing living situations, laundry/drycleaner, bank, restaurants, etc.,. Students who are parents will need to also find schools for K-12 age children)
  3. Course of study transitions:
    1. Program transition – e.g. moving from a science degree program to an economics degree program. The degree of stress will likely involve the degree to which the programs are in similar or different fields.
    2. Technical college / certificate program to degree program, Baccalaureate to Graduate, to Post-doctoral study
  4. Services transitions
    1. Hand-off type transitions in services:
      1. Overall protocols involved with implementing the policy direction in the post-secondary student strategy that Health and Alberta Health Services are responsible for clinical services, Advanced Ed and post-secondary institutions are responsible for health promotion and early intervention. This overall protocol will require specific protocols, including:
        1. Emergency room to Campus Health Clinic for follow-up – different degrees of risk
        2. Peer support to Counsellor or medical
        3. Community agency service to campus service (including on starting Post-secondary with an existing care plan)
        4. Campus service to community agency (e.g. on graduation / summer break)
    2. Interaction type transitions (both stay involved and need to coordinate / create synergy)
      1. Student advisor / finance / registration to health support
      2. Community agency service (not clinical – diagnostic/treatment service) and campus-based service
  5. Life transitions while in post-secondary
    1. Significant relationship changes, including marriages, divorce
    2. Children, including pregnancy, still-births
    3. Changes in family responsibilities – e.g. elder care, changes in family economic status