For Faculty & Staff

A holistic approach to health & wellness on campus

Students come to Dalhousie and King’s ready to learn but not always prepared for the mental and physical demands of university. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle through a period of change and challenge can be tough. While there are resources available to help students maintain their health, there are also resources available to faculty & staff. 

Resources: Helping your students


Student Declaration of Absence Form

The new regulation for Missed or Late Academic Requirements due to Student Absence was approved by Dalhousie’s Senate on September 25, 2017 removing the need for medical sick notes for absences that result in missed or late academic requirements of three days or less.

The accompanying Student Declaration of Absence Form and further instructions for faculty  are now available.  

Online Student referral form (to Student Health & Wellness)

Faculty & staff have the option to raise their concerns to the Student Health & Wellness Team using our student referral form. Referrals to health & wellness team in Halifax are managed by Dalhousie’s Case Manager who will reach out to the student to determine next steps to ensure their health needs are met. 

Crisis Event/Emergency Consultation

When critical incidents occur they can have a stressful impact sufficient to overwhelm the usually effective coping skills of a group or individual. Examples include:

  • serious injury or sudden death of a student, staff or faculty member
  • physical violence
  • bombing or other explosions
  • other unanticipated traumatic events.

Student Health & Wellness can provide various services to help the university community deal with critical incidents. The main purpose of these services is to prevent or mitigate the negative impact of acute stress on individuals affected by the incident. These services may include:

  • Consultation to faculty and administrative staff on the best way of helping people affected by the incident.
  • On-site support for people experiencing acute stress reactions. On-site support provides an immediate, less-formal type of debriefing, in which a psychologist goes to the site and talks with individuals or groups affected by the incident. It can help people cope with immediate effects. It also offers an opportunity for the psychologist to assess needs and to provide information about further services.
  • Psychological first aid involves further on-site support beyond the initial contact, but soon after the critical incident. It is an evidence-informed modular approach to help reduce the initial distress and to foster short- and long-term adaptive functioning. 
  • Group debriefing sessions are an optional service provided by Counselling Services staff, upon request by the relevant department. Sessions are generally two hours in length. Participation is voluntary. It is intended to be only for people directly involved in the critical incident.
  • Individual counselling for those who would benefit from services beyond immediate support or group debriefing. Normally the Centre provides individual counselling only to students of Dalhousie University and University of King's College. However we will provide brief counselling to staff and faculty following a traumatic incident on campus, and referral if further services are required.

Email and to request a crisis event/emergency consultation service. 

Resources and Guides

Guide to Recognizing and Responding to Students in Distress (Blue Folder)

Our Guide to Recognizing and Responding to Students in Distress, often referred to as the Blue Folder, is a resource for faculty and staff. The objectives of the guide are to: 

  • Educate faculty & staff on the signs of a student in distress
  • Provide faculty & staff with the steps required to make a student referral 
  • Educate faculty & staff on the resources available to students 
  • Provide quick access to emergency numbers 

The Blue Folder is available online at and hard copies can be requested by emailing (subject to availability). 

> Refer a student to the Student Health & Wellness Team

Information to include on your syllabus (optional)


Student health 

Students looking to access physical or mental health & wellness services at Dalhousie can go to the Student Health & Wellness Centre in the LeMarchant Building. With walk-in services and same day appointments available, the team includes: registered nurses, physicians, doctors, social workers, counsellors, and registered psychologists. Visit to learn more. 


Student health 

Students looking to access physical or mental health & wellness services at Dalhousie can access Health Services in the Dairy Building (Student Success Centre). 

Handouts for students

Below are some handouts and brochures that outline the resources and supports available for students. We encourage you to share this information with your students.

Professional Development and Training 

Mental Health 101 Training

Mental Health 101 is a short yet informative presentation developed for university faculty and staff to increase awareness and understanding of mental illness and mental health problems, thus increase your confidence in supporting students. This presentation is delivered jointly by the Director of Counselling, the Coordinator of the Stay Connected Mental Health Project, and a Dalhousie student representative.

By attending this session you will: 

  • Achieve a better understanding of mental health and mental illness
  • Learn to recognize some of the common signs of student mental health issues
  • Increase your confidence to engage with students around mental health
  • Be aware of resources available on campus and in our community 

Mental Health 101 is presented twice a semester. See upcoming presentations.

Communications for Complex Conversations

Communications for Complex Conversations is a 90-minute workshop led by Dalhousie Student Health & Wellness Social Worker, Hazel Ling.

The workshop supports faculty and staff in facilitating complex conversations with students who require additional support. The goal is for participants to walk away from the workshop with tools to navigate difficult conversations, and an understanding of resources available to support students, faculty and staff.

Topics will include:

  • Communication basics
  • Personal and professional boundaries
  • Preparing ourselves for having emotionally difficult conversations with students
  • Specific “how to’s” for helping students with a variety of issues they may be dealing with, such as anger, high conflict personalities, crying and more
  • Resources for students on campus and how to refer to them

This workshop is currently being offered virtually through Brightspace. To register for this workshop, please contact Hazel Ling at

Health & Wellness Presentations to students

Students can benefit from 30–60 minute sessions covering topics of your choice, including student health & wellness. By attending a presentation on health & wellness, students will: 

  • Be able to identify services, programs, and resources that can support their health 
  • Understand how good health & wellness can contribute to their academic success
  • Understand self-care and the importance of engaging in self-care

To request a presentation, please fill out our Health & Wellness Presentation Request Form

Health & Wellness Presentations to faculty & staff

The Dalhousie Student Health & Wellness team can be invited to present to faculty & staff groups. The goals of these presentations are:

  • To expand the skills of faculty & staff to support mental health issues
  • To raise awareness for on-campus mental health services, resources & programs
  • To promote a culture of, and take a holistic approach to, wellness across Dalhousie campuses integrating physical, mental and spiritual health together

The presentation can also cover requested topics in more depth such as personal safety or making a student referral. 

To request a presentation, please fill out our Health & Wellness Presentation Request Form

Important Policies

Sexualized Violence Policy

At Dalhousie University, we believe that everyone deserves a living, working, and academic environment free of violence and harassment. It takes all of us to move towards a culture of consent on campus.

The Purple Folder is available as a resource for responding when someone share an experience of Sexualized Violence.

Learn about Dalhousie’s Sexualized Violence Policy at

Alcohol Policy and Alcohol Harm Reduction

Dalhousie University supports responsible choices involving alcohol. We all have a responsibility regarding our consumption and to help minimize risk as a result of consumption.

Learn about Dal's Alcohol Policy and tips on Alcohol Harm Reduction at


Resources: Helping yourself

Workshops & Training

Dalhousie offers a wide range of workshops & training for faculty & staff that can be found on the Employee Learning Calendar

Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP)

Dalhousie offers an Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP) that offers immediate and confidential help for you and your family. Call 1-800-387-4765, or visit their online services at

Healthy Dalhousie Blog

Healthy Dalhousie provides information about health-related services that serve to promote the well-being of faculty and staff at Dalhousie University. You can find health-related topics and general health tips.