Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




recovery, post-secondary student mental health, stepped care, recovery-oriented practice


Student mental health has been a growing concern for higher education communities for many years. Campuses have been struggling to keep up with the increasing demand for services which has been complicated further by the COVID-19 pandemic. A Stepped Care model (SCM) developed at a Canadian university has been offering new ways of organizing mental health resources based on open access, student choice, and recovery principles. There are diverse definitions of recovery in the literature and are usually based on values such as empowerment, respect, and self-determination. SCMs have been shown to increase access to resources and reduce or eliminate waitlists for supports. A Canadian non-profit organization (SCCG) has been supporting the implementation of SCMs on campus communities in North America through training and consultation. The paradigm shift from the dominant biomedical model of health, which is expert-driven and focused on pathology, to recovery-oriented practices is complex. Currently, SCCG does not have a detailed vision of recovery-oriented practice in SCMs and limited resources to support its implementation. This problem of practice to be addressed is the lack of visioning and strategic planning for recovery-oriented practice in SCMs being implemented in post-secondary settings. Possible solutions including visioning, and resource and training development are explored. A change implementation plan is discussed along with monitoring and evaluation and communicating the change process. This plan offers practical solutions to support SCCG in moving toward a unified vision of recovery in SCM, and tools to support its implementation in post-secondary contexts.