Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




higher education, mental health, distressed students, faculty role in student mental health, community of practice, Okanagan Charter


The increased numbers of students struggling with mental health problems require faculty to increase their competence and confidence in working with distressed students. In this Organizational Improvement Plan (OIP), I explore this problem of practice, pursuing improved mental health literacy among higher education faculty and an enhanced ability to recognize signs of distress and employ role-appropriate interventions. A mentally healthy and supportive learning environment improves student engagement and academic achievement; therefore, it is pedagogically relevant. Well-being and mental health-related knowledge and a helpful network of colleagues can help faculty respond to distressed students. This OIP is rooted in the Okanagan Charter and builds on current work and successes at College X. Incorporating new elements of strategic and intentional collaboration into the existing system yields improved student academic achievement and faculty capacity in working with distressed students. A collaborative process and community of practice, authentic and shared leadership, increased faculty competence, and confidence align the strategic plan’s vision with on-the-ground pedagogical interactions. Thus, through improved faculty competence and confidence, this change plan aims to improve faculty’s sense of being supported in their endeavor to improve academic outcomes for students struggling with mental health problems.