Learn different strategies that can be used in your classroom or environment and find additional classroom resources.
Read through the common questions and concerns related to implementing well-being strategies in learning environments.
See what our faculty members are doing to support student, and their own, mental health and well-being.
Find services and resources that you can promote in the classroom and talk to your students about.
Find services and resources that can support employee mental health and well-being.
Do you or one of your coworkers have a method that works well in supporting student well-being in the classroom? Submit it here to be featured on this webpage.
Faculty Champions are faculty members trained to support their own well-being and the well-being of fellow faculty members and students. This is a highly encouraged training for any faculty member on campus. Faculty members are considered Faculty Champions when they have completed STEP UP! for Supporting Student Mental Health and Well-Being and various other trainings that arise.
Join the Faculty and Staff Engagement Subcommittee to make a positive difference on campus by encouraging faculty and staff members to support their own well-being and the well-being of the students they interact with. Membership can begin at anytime.
While we offer a variety of strategies below, it's important to remember that these are general ideas and are not required in your classroom. We encourage you to find the ones that work for you and your students!
Have strategies that you want to appear here? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know!
"Your well-being is important, and it contributes to your success in this course. At S&T, we provide resources to support your mental, physical, and social well-being. Any of us can experience challenges that make learning difficult. If you are struggling, take advantage of the following resources offered by the university:
Student Well-Being provides counseling services, health promotion initiatives, and prevention programs to empower the S&T community to thrive and enhance personal, academic, and professional success. Department office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. On the website, you can find information related to confidential individual and group counseling, wellness consultations and trainings, resources for many health and wellness topics, and help for mental health crisis situations.
For the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, call or text 988, or visit missouri988.org.
The Health and Well-Being Canvas Course features trainings, presentations, and other health and well-being resources for students. The course is free for all students, is non-credit, and students can enroll at any point in the semester."
The Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence empowers and educates faculty/instructors to become the most effective educators possible. Some specific resources that may be helpful for your classroom are:
National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD)
The National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD) is an independent faculty development center that offers live and recorded webinars, courses, mentoring, and workshops. The UM System has an institutional membership to NCFDD, meaning any faculty member, post-doctoral fellow, graduate, or professional student at a UM System university can access the breadth of NCFDD resources at any time.
Want to support well-being, diversity, and/or inclusion in the classroom but don't know how? Submit your question and we will answer it anonymously below!
This is a common barrier for offering support to a student who is asking about what support or alternative options might be available, and there are many ways to prevent this type of "snowball" effect:
If this is a topic you struggle with, we encourage you first to turn to your colleagues and ask how they handle this type of situation.
Associate Teaching Professor, English and Technical Communication
Promoting well-being in my classroom is a priority for me. To me, the foundation of teaching is connection, and I’ve always believed that creating a safe and warm classroom environment is the first step toward promoting well-being. Students are under a great deal of pressure, and the pandemic only exacerbated students’ stress levels. Many of my students are also freshmen, so they are navigating the transition to college as well.
To promote well-being in my classroom, I aim to connect with my students as individuals, encouraging them to meet with me during office hours to discuss assignments as well as possible barriers to success. I often share information on the Student Well-Being resources on campus if our conversations indicate that a student could benefit from some support. Additionally, I make use of the UCARE referral system, submitting referrals for students who may benefit from outreach from a Care Manager.
In Fall 2022, Professor Goldberg and I partnered with Student Well-Being to design a narrative assignment with an emphasis on cognitive reframing. This assignment was very meaningful, and it provided an opportunity to add a beneficial component to the narrative assignment, with the goal of helping students learn skills to deal with difficult situations in the future, as well as learning to use cognitive reframing when examining past experiences. We are grateful to Senior Counselor, Amber Johnston, for visiting our classes to promote these skills.
After completing the narrative-based cognitive reframing essay, my student, Drew Appleman said, “Cognitive reframing helped me to understand and be able to describe the way that I was feeling at the time of the event that I used for my narrative. It was a good way to take a step back and think about the emotions and how they affected me on that day and moving forward. I think that I will use cognitive reframing in the future if I have very bad or very good days. I will reflect on them after and "reframe" the feelings that I was having.”
Another one of my students, Evan Boydston said, “[The assignment] was a good mental check for me because it gave me reassurance that I can do a lot more than I think I'm capable of at times. It will help me in my future because no matter what I will come across I know that I can overcome it. It will give me confidence to push through adversity. I'm glad I had the opportunity to write this narrative to be able to reflect on what I overcame.”
It is not unusual for me to tell my students that their well-being more important than a grade. I believe that once a student receives proper support and is connected to helpful resources, then the student can focus more effectively on assignments. I’ve learned some excellent strategies for talking to students in distress via the Mental Well-Being Champion training sessions that I’ve completed as my department’s Mental Well-Being Champion. I have reminded students that how they feel right now will not be how they feel forever, and I also employ the technique of mirroring, reflecting back what I hear a student saying. Being heard and seen is powerful.
Associate Professor, Psychological Science
I support student well-being in the classroom and learning environment by talking about the resources available to students on and off campus and by uploading well-being resources in Canvas. I also offer extra credit to students who complete some of the well-being online trainings such as Ask, Listen, Refer and Collegiate Recovery Ally Training. Most importantly, I try to create an inclusive and belonging environment by encouraging students to engage in discussions about sensitive topics, such as mental health and substance use, while using respectful language that recognizes our collective diversity.
Director, Environmental Science Program
I let students know that they can be their authentic selves in my classroom, lab, and office by being myself around them and to any extent that I can, flattening the hierarchical structure of academia. I remember what it was like to be 18, new to college, and from a very rural background, and I channel that empathy into my interactions: My students' experiences aren't identical to mine, but I can relate to the experience of being unsure, or of needing an advocate or advice, or of just wanting to talk about something with someone who will listen.
I also manage my classroom through mutual respect and trust. For example, if we want healthy students, we have to understand that sometimes their mental health or well-being requires that they miss class, much as we all occasionally miss work sometimes. We also have to understand that diverse people have diverse needs that may require them to miss class occasionally. Policies like requiring a doctor's note or proof of a death create inaccessible situations for many students and encourage deceit. I let my students know that I respect them and understand that sometimes they need to miss class-- I ask them to let me know that they won't be in class as soon as they are able and to make a plan with me to get the material they have missed. I ask them to not abuse this policy, because mutual respect fosters mutual trust, and they rarely do.
Director of Arts & Innovation
I begin every syllabus with this note:
"First and foremost, I care about each of you as human beings. I hope you will think of me that way, too. I'm here to support you however I can. Take care of yourself and your family. Whatever happens, we will work it out."
Later, when I talk about the importance of attending class (and, yes, 75% of success in life is about showing up and engaging), I add another key statement:
"If you begin missing class time, I’m going start looking for you—because, here’s the thing, I’m not going to leave anyone behind."
While I give lots of information about the various ways to get help at S&T, I want my students to know that I am part of that help. Too often students think that their professors are adversaries. We aren't. Much of my philosophy comes from the many years I worked in and directed writing centers. I always want students to know they can talk to me. If I can't help, I'm not going to shrug them off; I'm going to find someone who can help them.
Ultimately, actions speak louder than any words on my syllabus, but I think, even in my short time at S&T, students know I mean what I say. I'm not leaving anyone behind--no matter what.
Assistant Teaching Professor, Teacher Education and Certification
In my own teaching I like to follow the ideas of Nel Noddings in her ethics of care philosophy. When we show students we care, and spend time actually listening to them, they are more likely to learn and, as instructors, our pedagogy will get stronger (Noddings, 2005). By learning about my students, their hobbies as well as how they learn best, I can create lessons that engage students in those topics they like or change up how I teach the content to address various learning styles.
If students don’t feel like a teacher cares about them then they are less likely to participate in class. I show my students that I care by showing up to class a few minutes early each time to engage with those students who also show up early and see how their week has been. I also incorporate a lot of discussion in my classes which helps increase students’ critical thinking, but also allows time for me to learn more about my students and their beliefs and thoughts about the content of the course.
As professors, it’s important to remember that our students are often juggling many different things and have stresses outside of our classes, so having compassion at times is important. If a student has something come up and misses a deadline once in my class I don’t penalize them, but rather listen to their situation and modify the deadline if necessary. I tend to think about it as how I would want someone to treat me if I was in that situation at that time. I want my students to feel comfortable coming to me when they feel overwhelmed and just need to talk. My office has many times become the “safe space” where my students just come to chill if they need a break from life. Providing that safe space, wherever it ends up being, can help students see you care.
These are just some of the ways that I support my students, along with sharing the many resources on campus with them. I still have more to learn about the resources available, but being a Mental Well-Being Champion for my department has given me the opportunity to learn more about these and have the knowledge to share with students who can benefit from them. I will continue learning about these resources because I know they are helpful to students, and the students are my main priority!
Associate Professor, Chemistry
Theodore Roosevelt once said, “People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.” I first encountered this well-known phrase during a keynote lecture at a teaching and learning conference, and it left a lasting impression on my perception of my students, both in and outside the classroom. Striking the right balance of teaching and learning can be difficult, especially when dealing with students who have diverse backgrounds, abilities, and interests. My goal is to create engaging, thought-provoking, and challenging courses that encourage active learning and collaboration among all students. Thus, addressing the individual needs of each student is critical for their overall well-being and success. For instance, by letting students know that there are no silly questions in my class and that all inquiries will be treated with respect and answered truthfully, creates a positive and supportive environment. Individual student needs can also be met through additional learning opportunities, such as LEAD sessions (Learning Enhancement Across Disciplines, lead.mst.edu), and ample opportunities for one-on-one meetings with faculty members.
During my term as department chair of chemistry, I followed the advice of Dr. Scott Miller (Materials Science and Engineering) and relocated my office hours to the Student Success Center at 198 Toomey Hall. This change allowed me to avoid frequent interruptions from individuals just seeking signatures or the completion of other quick administrational tasks. However, the Student Success Center offered much more than a distraction-free environment. In addition to giving students my full attention, it also created the welcoming and non-threatening atmosphere that promotes student well-being outside the normal classroom time. The number of students attending my office hours has significantly increased and at times, students will drop in for a casual conversation about their academic progress or just to have a chat over a cup of coffee.
Associate Teaching Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Wellbeing happens in different layers. Many people interpret wellbeing usually as physical wellbeing, such as staying healthy in physical terms. So, it is perceived as not having sickness or disease. However, it is much more than that.
We could think of wellbeing at different levels such as physical, mental, academic, social, financial, psychological, emotional, professional, and spiritual well-being.
Human beings have many sides and many aspects to them, so a perfect wellbeing means not just being physically healthy, although that is the first thought that comes to our mind. Staying healthy in any of the above classifications does start with a great deal of understanding and practice via education and adopting a dose of prevention as much as possible.
Since I am a firm believer of prevention, I lay it out in front of the students at the outset. Right at the beginning of the semester, I describe myself to my students as their well-wisher and that I will offer them my advice and perspectives on various subjects dealing with wellbeing. I tell them how I wish all of them to be healthy not just in body but also in mind and soul.
Regarding physical wellness, I explain to them how important it is to have a good sleep of around 8 to 9 hours every night and how important it is for them not to stay up late till wee hours especially the night before the exam.
A well-planned study habit such as studying for certain amount of time for certain subjects if done regularly bears a more productive result. I also talk about my own formula of “triple R” to them which is what I discovered when I was a student myself. This consists of a set of (r, R, r) where the upper-case letter has more value than the lower-case. (r R, r) = (redo, REFLECT, recap)
I tell my students to redo or copy the lecture note neat and clean to a notebook (writing neat and clean is becoming a lost or almost a lost art in our society today), then REFLECT on each line of the note thoughtfully, recap the idea by rewriting the material contained in the lecture note and then finally, comparing the recapped note to the original lecture note. Any student who applies this process regularly to each subject will not only excel in the study but will also enjoy the whole process. The best thing about it is that when we enjoy what we do, we end up doing it great.
When I offer such advice to any and all of my students, usually they receive it gracefully and take it home to think about it some more. However, once in a while, I smell a little bit off-putting. Some 14 or 15 years ago, there was a student named Thomas (for the sake of making it near anonymous, I am not using his last name). Once I was telling my students to have a good night’s sleep and have a good breakfast before they go to take a test, Thomas came to me and said, “Dr. Shrestha, you sound like my Dad”. I smiled and said, “Nice” Then he came a little closer and said, “Do you know, I hate him!” Ouch, I didn’t see that coming. Anyway, I thought 99% if not 100% of my students did take my advice with grace and I hope they will maul over it.
I also said, “… just before you go to sleep, think about the whole day’s activities, see if you are happy and at peace with what you did; if yes, continue doing so the next day, but if you think, gosh I should have done this, I should have done that, tell yourself that next time around, you will do what your conscience told you to do. Today is just about gone, tomorrow is a new day.”
I remind my students about the various resources available here at S&T and that they are available free of cost. Here, it is not just me, but everybody wants you all to be the very best in everything. So, our slogan is “Learn Well. Be Well. Stay Well”. We focus on learning, then applying the knowledge thus learned to stay well.
This is a whole bunch of items of support that proves to be godsend for some of our students.
Associate Professor, English and Technical Communication
I thrive on the variety of disciplines and kinds of students that attend my literature courses. One of the strengths of my literature courses is that they are relatively small--15-40 students on average. This allows me to give more personalized attention to all of my students. My concern with inclusion and accessibility drives my teaching, and I always appreciate students from diverse backgrounds and work to make them feel welcome.
I have students form small groups during the first week of class. These groups will have a shared presentation assignment together. In addition, I tell them that group is a resource for them--somewhere to go to check-in about class information that isn't the instructor. I regularly encourage them to check-in with these peer groups. In addition, small group work in class allows me to spend more individual time with each student.
I also vary my teaching style. While I focus on discussion throughout my teaching, I arrange specific class sessions to get us moving. We break into small groups, form a large circle, take class outside--whatever helps. I find these strategies help engage students.
I give a variety of writing assignments in order to engage students fully in the creative process of the literature they are studying. This assignments also allow the students to bring their outside strengths into the literature classroom. For example, I have designed a multi-media assignment in which students transform one of the stories read in class into another form of media and write a response paper analyzing what that experience taught them. I want students to study their media choices. Some examples of finished projects have been paintings, video recordings, performance art pieces, and interactive games.
Mostly, I care about the students. I tell them I care about them and about their success. I want them to care about each other. These small touches make a difference!
Associate Professor, Biological Sciences
I try to approach my interactions with students from the perspective that we are both educating the students as well as helping them to mature in a way that they can meet the expectations that will be set at their next position. Thus, each student will be at a different place in that process and will be handling the stresses of how they got there and how what the future holds differently.
I talk to them about how stress is part of the maturing process because they are moving into areas that are unfamiliar. In addition, while the future is extremely promising for our students, it is typically wholly unsettled. Everything from relationships, to the job they might have, their future careers, and even what city they will live in are yet to be determined. I feel this uncertainty as an extra layer of stress that is not directly accounted for in our typical assessment.
More traditionally, I ask them about extracurricular activities. Many of our students are interested in so many things. College is also about being mature, understanding that you can’t do everything, and beginning to narrow one’s interests to do the best job they can at the things they really care about.
Lastly, there are those that are overwhelmed by all of these factors. They often have the typical indicators, such as poor/declining grades or not showing up to class. For these students, I try to provide the support to talk to the right people. A university is nothing if not a bureaucratic beast. Finding the right person can be an intimidating and discouraging process. I try to provide the support so that they can get to that person that can help them find and execute the solution that is best for them.
Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)
The UM System's two Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) are a confidential, professional service provided to all employees, their families, retirees, and organizational work units. The EAPs provide a variety of services to help employees influenced by a range of personal concerns or stressors. The EAPs also assist work units and the larger organization to improve quality and productivity. Learn more from the website using the link below.
Ask.Listen.Refer Suicide Prevention Training
The Missouri S&T Ask.Listen.Refer Suicide Prevention Training Program was designed to help faculty, staff, and students prevent suicide by teaching you to:
Employee Benefits and Perks
Learn more about the benefits and perks that are available to you as a staff member.
Health and Well-Being Publications from Student Well-Being
Student Well-Being has published newsletters and other publications that were created to support the mental health and well-being of faculty members, as well as for faculty to support their students. Publications include newsletters, resource spotlights, and more.
Show Me Hope Missouri Helpline
Show Me Hope Helpline is a free, confidential, crisis counseling program designed to help individuals and the community cope with disasters. Some of the services offered are crisis counseling, resources, and referrals to local agencies for various types of assistance.
BetterHelp makes professional therapy accessible, affordable, and convenient — so anyone who struggles with life’s challenges can get help, anytime and anywhere. BetterHelp offers access to licensed, trained, experienced, and accredited psychologists, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, and board licensed professional counselors.
BodyU is an initiative funded by the Missouri Eating Disorders Council based on over 30 years of research at Mashington University School of Medicine in St.Louis and Stanford University. The online survey is programmed to understand your behaviors and self-image. Based on the results, you'll be assigned a custom-tailored online or mobile program that fits your unique responses. NOTE: you will not receive an official diagnosis of an eating disorder or any other mental health disorder. Programs are not meant to replace in-person counseling.
Gaelle Chapon Wellness Coaching
Work with Gaelle, a certified Solution-focused Coach, with a mission is to support people in creating the life they really want, aligned with their values and with the balance they need. Wellness and well-being are key elements in her holistic approach. Work with Gaelle in Rolla or virtually.
LiveHealth Online allows you to see a licensed therapist or psychiatrist online from the comfort and privacy of your own space, and can help with a variety of concerns such as anxiety, life transitions, stress, relationship troubles, depression, grief, coping with illness, and panic attacks. Pricing for this service depends on insurance and services desired- learn more on their website.
MACRO Collegiate Recovery Ally Training
This training was designed to help faculty, staff, and students support individuals in recovery from substance use disorders. The training covers: (1) substance use disorders and recovery, (2) myths and stigmas about substance use disorders, (3) using person first, recovery friendly language, and (4) how to support someone seeking, or already in, recovery. The training takes about 30 minutes to complete, and is intended to be completed in one session.
MindWise offers brief mental and behavioral health screenings that are the quickest way to determine if you or someone you care about should connect with a counselor or other professional. Some screening topics include generalized anxiety, depression, alcohol use, disordered eating, and more.
The Psychology Today website is a great first step in looking for an off-campus mental health professional, featuring therapy and health professionals directories where you can filter by insurance, location, and even “issues”. The website also features hundreds of blogs written by a wide variety of psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, medical doctors, anthropologists, sociologists, and science journalists.
Talkspace is a convenient and affordable way to improve your mental health. Get matched with a licensed therapist in your state from the comfort of your device, and message via text, audio, and video. Tell us your preferences for therapy, and match with one of our therapists in your state the same day. Send your therapist unlimited text, audio, picture, or video messages from anywhere, at any time — you’ll hear back at least once a day, 5 days per week.
Overviews of Health and Well-Being Services:
Mental Well-Being Resources at Missouri S&T (multi-page document)
Well-Being Quick Reference Guide (one page flyer)
Employee Assistance Program Overview (one page flyer)