Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education-Higher Education (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

Education Leadership & Counseling

First Advisor

Dr. Paul E Bylsma

Academic Year



Graduate students face a multitude of stressors that can negatively impact their mental health and wellbeing, including academic pressures, work-life balance issues, and financial strains. However, minimal attention has been focused the needs of graduate student population, and existing support are limited. More so, student affairs professionals and practitioners (SAPPs) often engage and interact with graduate student. Yet, many SAPPs who are interested in helping address graduate students’ mental health needs lack sufficient training to effectively support graduate students experiencing mental health challenges. The purpose of this project is to develop and implement a comprehensive training program to equip SAPPs with the knowledge and skills necessary to identify, respond to mental health concerns among the graduate student population, and provide necessary referral to appropriate resources. The training will cover topics such as recognizing signs of common mental health issues, crisis intervention strategies, campus and community mental health resources, and techniques for creating an inclusive and supportive environment. Emphasis will be placed on developing SAPPs' competencies in having open and stigma-free conversations about mental health. The program will utilize evidence-based approaches, including interactive workshops, scenario-based questions, and role-playing exercises. By enhancing SAPPs' mental health literacy, this project aims to foster a campus culture that proactively addresses graduate student well-being. Ultimately, the goal is to enhances support systems and ensure graduate students receive the care and accommodations they need to thrive personally and academically throughout their degree program. Program evaluation metrics will assess knowledge gains, implementation fidelity, and student usage of mental health supports.