Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




mental health, capacity, distributed leadership, servant leadership, collaboration, professional learning community


Mental health issues are on the rise among students at postsecondary institutions (PSIs), necessitating a campus-wide initiative to address growing concerns about mental health problems among students. Extending the circle of care model to include faculty ensures the timely delivery of support and services to address students’ mental health needs. This integrated approach also enables faculty to respond to students’ needs and direct students to the appropriate resources. However, faculty must be equipped with the knowledge needed to recognize the signs of mental health issues among students to positively impact students’ overall health and well-being. Improving faculty capacity to support student mental health minimizes risk factors, prevents issues from escalating, and enables students to receive immediate support. To achieve this goal, this Organizational Improvement Plan (OIP) proposes the development of a professional learning community (PLC). This organizational change requires the institution’s leadership to effectively support students’ needs. The Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, in collaboration with other stakeholders, leads this change initiative at a Canadian college. Thus, the OIP is underpinned by a framework that consists of distributed and servant leadership approaches and a social constructivist lens for learning. In addition, Kotter’s (1996) Eight-Stage Change Model is used to establish a plan of action that incorporates key stakeholders, with clearly defined roles and responsibilities to enact the proposed change. Ultimately, collaboration among stakeholders is important to reduce barriers for students seeking mental health assistance and to ensure the sustainability of supports that foster progressive change and a supportive environment.