Mental Health and Wellbeing

Everyone plays an important role in supporting faculty, staff, and student mental health and wellbeing.

Faculty and staff can use this guide, adapted from UBC Human Resources, to know what to see, say, and do. Download the PDF version of this guide for faculty and staff here and for students here.

Recognize visible changes in behavior

Orange circle with 'See Something' inside

If you see any behaviour that may be out of character or unusual for your colleague or student, know that early intervention plays a key role in recovery from mental health challenges.

Reflect on any visible changes in behaviors that might be uncharacteristic:

What have I seen?

What have I heard from the individual?

How long have I noticed these behaviors?


Respond with concern and empathy

Orange circle with 'Say Something' inside

Reaching out to a colleague or student shows care and concern, and opens a dialogue to check how they’re doing.

Have you chosen a safe, discrete, and appropriate time and environment?

Non-judgmental and supportive language includes:

“I have noticed…”

“I am concerned…”


Refer to appropriate and available resources

Orange circle with 'Do Something' insideThis person may not be aware of the wide range of support available to them, or may be hesitant to ask for help. Consider if this person is demonstrating a high risk of harm, a moderate risk of harm, or a low risk of harm.

Non-judgmental and supportive language includes:

“What do you need in order to…”

“Can I suggest…”

“UBC has great resources to help with…”


Orange box with 'Think about what you've seen, then use the examples below to determine the next steps. respond as you feel appropriate. Remember that choosing any response over remaining silent is always the best option.'


High risk of harm

“I am concerned about their immediate safety, or the safety of others”

Behavior that is violent, destructive, harmful, aggressive, or threatening to self or others.

How to refer:

Call 911 and Campus Security

First, call Emergency Services: 911

Then, call Campus Security: 250-807-8111


Moderate risk of harm

“I am concerned about some recent behavior that is out of character for one of my colleagues or students”


Changes in personal appearance and hygiene

Avoidance of tasks/ people

Substance use concerns

Disorganized thinking

Expressions of hopelessness or references to suicide.

How to refer:

First, encourage your colleague to contact their Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP):

Shepell: 1-800-387-4765

Then, suggest that they follow up with some of the additional resources listed below


Self-harming behaviour such as cutting, hitting, or restricted eatting

Expresses hopelessness or references suicide

Current or past experience of violence or sexual abuse

Traumatic event, such as the loss of a loved one

Mental health appears to be significantly deteriorating

How to refer:

First, call Health and Wellness and request a same-day urgent appointment for the student, and/or request to consult with a counselor: 250-807-9270

Then, encourage the student to go directly to Health and Wellness. Suggest that they follow up with some of the additional resources listed below.

Activate UBC Early Alert

Low risk of harm

“I am concerned about the general wellbeing of one of my colleagues or students. I’m not sure if it’s serious but I would like to offer them some support”


Family or relationship problems

Chronic health conditions

Difficulty concentrating or learning new tasks

Difficulty sleeping

Increased interpersonal conflict


Employee and Family Assistance Program:

Shepell 1-800-387-4765

Mental health concerns and/or difficulty coping

Work, health, and life support

Work Re-Integration and Accommodation Program

Health Promotion

Additional support, specific to employment group


Relationship problems, homesickness, or lack of social support

Experience of a traumatic event

Student may be experiencing difficulties such as depression, anxiety, agitation, grief, or anger

Marked changes in appearance or hygeine

Substance use concerns

Academic concerns


Counselling: Health and Wellness

Primary Health Concerns

Disability Resource Centre

Student Services and Financial Support

Activate UBC Early Alert