WHAT IS THE BEST PRACTICES GUIDE?
To advance evidence-based post-secondary student mental health and wellness initiatives, the Best Practices Network in Canadian Higher Education (BP-Net) developed the Best Practices Guide (herein referred to as the “Guide”) to identify and categorize practices that improve Canadian post-secondary students’ mental health and well-being. Practices within the Best Practices Continuum track are classified based on operationalized criteria, ranging from cutting-edge, emerging, promising, and best. Practices within the Indigenous-Specific track are classified based on the Aboriginal Ways Tried and True Framework.
WHY WAS THE BEST PRACTICES GUIDE DEVELOPED?
With increased recognition of the importance of evaluation practices, quality improvement, and program accountability within the post-secondary sector over the last few years, the Guide seeks to support campuses by creating tools and a process to identify post-secondary student mental health practices and programs. The aim is to create a network that supports, encourages, and reinforces a culture of evaluation on campuses by building a library of tools and information that assist campuses to learn, share, adopt, and disseminate evidence-informed and evidence-based practices that support student mental health. The Guide allows campuses to identify programming that has positive mental health outcomes for students and encourages sharing of program evaluation tools and resources to support evaluation efforts. Throughout the Guide, the term “practices” is used to refer to, but is not limited to, programs, services, projects, strategies, frameworks, or other types of materials or resources that support post-secondary student mental health.
HOW WAS THE BEST PRACTICES GUIDE DEVELOPED?
Upon completing an environmental scan of best practice frameworks employed within the health and mental health sectors, the Guide was developed by adopting and incorporating existing best practice frameworks in the health and mental health sector. To contextualize the Guide within the Canadian post-secondary mental health sector, the National Standard of Canada for Mental-Health and Well-Being for Post-Secondary Students was utilized as an additional resource.