• University of Calgary – SPOR Collaboration Grant Research Project
    Mar 20, 2018 | University of Calgary

    Using Patient-Informed Research to Enhance Resilience Programming for Post-Secondary Students

    Principal Investigator: Thannhauser, Jennifer

    Co-Investigators: Neilson, Tessa; Dobson, Keith S; Nordstokke, David W; Szeto, Andrew

    Abstract: There is increasing concern about the psychological health of post-secondary students. Post-secondary students are more likely to have a mental illness than the general population. Students are at greater risk due to the stress that arises from juggling a demanding academic schedule, as well as their social life, work, and extracurricular activities. Further, as mental health awareness grows, post-secondary counselling centres are faced with the challenge to identify creative and effective service options to meet the ever-growing number of students who seek support. Current research is limited with respect to the best practices in resiliency programming for post-secondary students. The Roots of Resiliency program was developed and piloted between 2014-2016 in response to the identified need to expand mental health programming for post-secondary students. In particular, this 8-week, multi-disciplinary program was developed to enhance general wellness and resilience for students self-identifying mild to moderate symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety. The experientially-based program draws on positive psychology and Hettler’s six dimensions of wellness. Results of the pilot study indicate significant improvements in Total Wellness, Resiliency, Anxiety, Depression, and HLQ (Holistic Lifestyle Questionnaire) Composite Scores. Based on these initial positive results, the current study will: 1) refine the Roots of Resiliency program through a patient-oriented research approach; 2) revise the Roots of Resiliency program, in collaboration with campus Indigenous community, to deliver a culturally-appropriate wellness program to Indigenous students; 3) deliver and evaluate these revised programs, and 4) develop a standardized manual for the program to serve as a model of best practice for mental health programming on post-secondary campuses.