Posted on May 11, 2021

New mental health training tool for B.C. post-secondary faculty and staff

Student borrowing tablet from VCC Library

When it comes to mental health and wellness of post-secondary students, staff and instructors are often the first point of contact for those seeking help.

That’s why Vancouver Community College (VCC) welcomes the introduction of a new training initiative, Capacity to Connect, which provides basic mental health and wellness knowledge for post-secondary faculty and staff to support students in distress.

Developed by BCcampus and introduced on May 11 by the B.C. government, Capacity to Connect is another important tool for post-secondary institutions to support our future workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

“This past year has been tough for all British Columbians, including post-secondary students who have had to deal with so many disruptions and unexpected challenges,” says Anne Kang, B.C. Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. "Capacity to Connect means faculty and staff at our post-secondary institutions will have easier access to the tools and skills they need to provide intervention and help."

Capacity to Connect is an open educational resource consisting of a two-hour training session that can be completed online or in person. Participants will gain a better understanding of their role in responding to students in distress and gain basic tools for approaching and referring students to campus and community resources. 

Key features of Capacity to Connect

  • Free, open education resource
  • How to recognize signs of distress, how to respond, and where to refer students
  • Resilience and wellness focus, including a wellness wheel self-assessment tool
  • A decolonized perspective on mental health and wellness
  • Scenarios representing B.C.’s diverse student population

Mental health supports for students

B.C. post-secondary students can access 24/7 professional counselling services through Here2Talk by:

Students calling from outside Canada can also dial 604.642.5212 (international calling charges may apply). Phone services are available in additional languages upon request.

VCC students may also access free, professional counselling services through VCC’s Counselling Services department.