Core Business of Post-secondary
For those who wish to go beyond the limits of a strategy focused only on mental health-oriented services and supports, and look at the way the institution’s normal operation influences the mental status of students, faculty, staff, as well as the model it sets for the community and other organizations, there are a number of fruitful places to examine, including:
Design of curriculum (does it foster development of executive functions)
Design of buildings (has the architect included consideration of how physical spaces influence loneliness, access to natural environment);
Registration procedures and policies.
The key is not to eliminate all stress – that would be inappropriate since an appropriate level of stress is critical to a person’s development. However, taking steps to make the core business align with human development can bring value not only to students and society, but to the institution’s effectiveness in advancing its mandate for improving society. This attention sis increasingly important given the diversity of students, faculty and staff as well as the additional sources of stress of today’s dynamic environment,
The relevance and importance of recognizing well-being as a key component of a post-secondary institution’s ‘grand purpose’ has been described by the American Association of Colleges and Universities.