Chapter 10 Toward an Empathy-First Approach to Student Mental Health: A Guide for Faculty Development

Lynn Reid

What is the most important takeaway from your chapter? 

Faculty are often poorly trained to understand the ways that mental health challenges may present in their students’ classroom performance and, as a result, may respond in ways that are harmful rather than supportive. By giving students the benefit of the doubt and respond to them with empathy first, instructors can help to dismantle some of the visible barriers to success that impact students with mental health disabilities.  

If you were making discussion questions for students (advanced undergraduates or early graduate students) to go along with your chapter, what would they be?  

What student behaviors indicate a potential mental health challenge? What discourses shape how faculty may respond to those behaviors?  

What do firsthand narratives reveal about how students with mental health disabilities communicate with their instructors?  

How is mental health stigmatized in college? How can faculty help to reduce that stigma?  

What questions do you feel your chapter leaves un-examined or where would you go with it next? 

An under-examined point here is how to move beyond a single workshop to consider broader structural changes to program policies and faculty development in regard to RHM across the disciplines. 

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