Developing systemic and comprehensive strategies – Resources

As noted elsewhere in the toolkit, the systematic approach to health-promoting and health-enabling environments strategies in the post-secondary sector is a developing space. Use of systemic and comprehensive strategies is in its infancy. As with any developing field, the evolution from concept to routine practice evolves through stages – first general aspirational language with little coherence or understanding of ‘how to get there’, then through heuristics or general rules of thumb and only then through increasingly clear and coherent methods as the field matures into a set of generally accepted processes in delivery and management systems that can be communicated, trained and managed routinely. The nature of guidance in this toolkit demonstrates the place we are at.

Because of the infinite variation in people, environments and situations, a systemic and comprehensive mentally healthy campus strategy is not a set of linear processes, and for the foreseeable future will involve a great deal of multi-disciplinary and multi-sector thinking and judgement, yet using processes that allow that to proceed in good time. Sharing ideas, prototypes and experiences across the Community of Practice and with others across the country and the world who are on a similar journey will be a critical way to advance collective understanding most quickly.

A few links are included to provide pointers to useful resources and references, for those who wish to develop deeper competencies in this area. These are not an exhaustive list.

Resources / Communities of Practice relevant to Post-Secondary student mental health strategies

Resources relevant to understanding human development, positive psychology and the relevance of Brain Development to purposeful design of student mental health strategies

  • A variety of texts describing development across the life span are available. See for example, Santrock, J. W. A Topical Approach to Life-Span Development,(2007). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc, 26.
  • Bronfenbrenner, U. (2009). The ecology of human development. Harvard university press.
  • Kegan, R., & Lahey, L. L. (2009). Immunity to change: How to overcome it and unlock potential in yourself and your organization. Harvard Business Press.
  • Kegan, R., & Lahey, L. L. (2016). An everyone culture: Becoming a deliberately developmental organization. Harvard Business Review Press.
  • Keyes, C. L. (2010). Flourishing. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • Parker, Timothy W. (2012) Foundations of Biological Psychology. New York: Linus Publications
  • Seligman, M. E. (2012). Positive psychology in practice. John Wiley & Sons.
  • The Alberta Family Wellness Initiative (AFWI) has a free online course in Brain Story Certification developed by a variety of leading experts and is eligible for credits. Alberta has a wide network of certified practitioners so you may find someone locally who has taken the certification course and is familiar with many of the AFWI resources or experts in Alberta who may be able to support your particular question. Check the website for extensive resources related to the Brain Story. . They have well developed videos and resources that are based on the scientific underpinnings of the Brain Story. For example, the resource on resilience is at
  • AFWI is associated with the Harvard Centre for Child Development and has many of their resources on the AFWI website. For additional resources particular to the core capabilities for adults, see

Resources relevant to applying brain science to counselling, social work, to education

  • Cozolino, L. (2013). The Social Neuroscience of Education: Optimizing Attachment and Learning in the Classroom (The Norton Series on the Social Neuroscience of Education). WW Norton & Company.
  • Ludvik, M. B. (2016). Neuroscience of Learning and Development: Enhancing Peace, Compassion, Creativity, and Critical Thinking in Higher Education. Stylus Publishing, LLC.
  • Matto, H. C., & Ballan, M. (Eds.). (2013). Neuroscience for social work: Current research and practice. Springer Publishing Company.

Resources relevant to health-enabling environments

  • Williams, A. (Ed.). (2017). Therapeutic landscapes. Routledge.


  • International Journal of Indigenous Health › Home › IUHPE associated journals

  • Journal of Indigenous Wellbeing
  • Journal of Public Mental Health