North Island College is launching its first student mental health and well-being strategy designed to promote a healthier college culture and environment.
The CARE2 plan aligns with NIC’s BUILD 2026 Strategic Plan as well as NIC’s Indigenization Plan, Working Together, both of which commit to supporting students and creating a culture of care and compassion.
Informed by the National Standard of Canada for Mental Health and Well-being for Post-Secondary Students (July 2020), the CARE² Plan provides a comprehensive framework, highlighting the many opportunities and initiatives already being offered at NIC, while also identifying areas for improvement.
“Our aim is to build on the solid foundation that exists at NIC,” said Felicity Blaiklock, director, Student Affairs. “We want to ensure that we foster the resilience of our student community while also supporting those in crisis. Traditionally, the response to mental health challenges has been the focus of support services such as counselling. The CARE² Plan identifies the need to view all aspects of NIC’s operations through a mental health and well-being lens to create the best conditions for students to thrive.”
Developed with input from students, the CARE² Plan outlines goals for the next five years. The goals include the development of academic processes and curriculum that better support student mental health, the creation of more programs focused on de-stigmatizing mental illness and furthering the development of inclusive and effective supports such as counselling and emergency funding for students.
“The CARE2 Plan will help NIC develop further college-wide supports for all students to allow them to succeed. It’s a great step for NIC to focus on creating healthier communities in a systemic way,” said Hayley Dunbar, fourth year bachelor of science in nursing student and North Island Student Union services director.
The plan follows NIC’s formal adoption of the Okanagan Charter: An International Charter for Health Promoting Universities and Colleges.
“The CARE² Plan brings the Okanagan Charter into action, working to embed health in all aspects of college culture,” said Carissa Wilson, executive director of North Island Students’ Union. “The days of the student grind culture are not sustainable. This plan recognizes the whole student and supports their holistic well-being. Each successful student is success for our communities at large.”
To explore more about NIC’s Care2 Plan visit: www.nic.bc.ca/care2-plan.