Cabinet Mental Health & Wellness Commitments

Colorado College is committed to raising our focus on mental health on campus to the highest level. Only when all our students, staff, and faculty can learn, work, and live in an environment that fosters mental wellness can we provide students with outstanding liberal arts education experiences and the skills and habits to live healthy lives. Based on consolidated review of feedback from students, faculty, staff, and parents, CC developed a plan of action.

Our mental health and wellness work is divided into four areas:

  • working with external expertise to help guide the college;
  • new and existing resources for students, faculty, and staff;
  • addressing stressors unique to the Block Plan, and;
  • creating greater clarity and accessibility to resources in our communications and on our website.

External expertise to help guide the college 

Leveraging expertise to improve our approach to mental health and wellness resources available to campus  




Mental Health & Wellness Task Force 


Colorado College’s Task Force on Mental Health and Wellness is made up of faculty, staff, students, parents and alumni. The Task Force will take a holistic approach to mental health and wellness on campus. 


Manya Whitaker  


5 of the 7 working groups submitted final reports. These reports will inform next steps for mental health and wellness at CC.  

External Review of our Mental Health Services 

Rankin Climate conducted an external review of our mental health and wellness which included a communications audit and a 2-day visit to campus during which they met with 200 CC community members.

Manya Whitaker


Rankin submitted a final report in June 2023. This report will inform next steps for mental health and wellness at CC.  

Denison & other college reviews of best practices 

Cabinet members and others will visit colleges recognized for their mental health as well as local colleges to learn new ways for managing mental health and wellness on campus  

Pedro de Araujo


Report written and submitted. Possible action items in the works: pulse surveys, reorganization of wellness resource center.

Healthy Minds Designation 


To earn the Healthy Minds designation, a school must include mental health services information on syllabi and student IDs, offer prevention programs focused on improving mental health, hold at least one awareness event per year, and provide access to online mental health support or connect students to community resources 

Rochelle Dickey  

Block 5, 2023 

Checklist almost completed, then we can submit application; still working on: ensure all course syllabi and student IDs list mental health resources. Waiting on college Wellness website to link to via QR code on IDs 

Suicide Prevention Collaborative of El Paso 

The Collaborative is an alliance of organizations and community leaders that have a collective purpose to design, organize, resource, and coordinate the implementation and maintenance of a unified strategy using the Colorado-National Collaborative (CNC) framework. The goal is to reduce suicide deaths in El Paso County by 20% by the year 2024. 

Rochelle Dickey


Colorado College is officially a member with representatives on Education & Awareness Committee 

New and existing resources for students, faculty & staff 

Through our Task Force and Rankin Climate we will be identifying, testing and investing in new and varied resources to meet our student's needs. 



Resources continued to be shared with faculty to support students, and in a part of our new faculty orientation (EC).

Hiring a new AVP for Wellness 

The Associate Vice President for Wellness will be responsible for the vision, strategy, execution, and management of Colorado College’s holistic wellness commitment 

Lacy Karpilo

On Hold

The AVP for Wellness position is being reconsidered in the context of new mental health and wellness offerings across campus.

Peer-to-peer resources 

Working directly with student facilitators so that multiple new and existing peer support services will be available 

Rochelle Dickey 

Block 5, 2023 

Students have been working with Wellness Resource Center to leverage existing resources and plan for new ones.  

Additions to counseling staff 


We understand that we have limited hours available and are working toward increasing our counselors' hours and adding new services like 24-hour telehealth 

Rochelle Dickey 

End of year 

We have identified a provider (VCG health) and ITS is working on integration, Finance is with the contract to be signed (2-year commitment).  

We have also just signed a contract with ThrivingCampus, which connects students with curated external mental health providers for in-person or telehealth services 

Children’s Hospital partnership with NCAA Athletics 

New pilot survey program allowing identification of group/team mental health indictors to guide intentional programming decisions in partnership with Ch Hospital. Post pilot program, goal is to roll out to larger student community.   

Lesley Irvine

Surveys complete and findings being analyzed. Recommendations from CH ongoing.

Surveys are complete and trends/risk factors identified. Board presentation occurred in June. Peer coaching among one of the recommendations adopted from CH being pursued for the fall '23. Collaboration with campus ongoing to identify future populations to survey and to continue to develop CH from CH partnership.

Mental health & suicide prevention training for faculty & staff 

Through our Task Force and Rankin Climate will be identifying, testing and investing in new and varied resources to meet our student's needs. 

Rochelle Dickey


We have signed a contract and will be requiring all faculty and staff to take an online QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) suicide prevention training by end of Block 6

More & varied staff for sexual assault response and counseling 

We recognize we need to increase our focus, support and service as well as a variety of counselors 

Rochelle Dickey 

Recommendations by Block 6 

To be a focus of our Task Force 

Assess Employee Assistance Program (EAP) 

Assess current EAP access, quality, and services to ensure we have the required resources to meet staff and faculty mental health needs.  

Ryan Simmons 


EAP assessment results:

  • EAP provides immediate phone-based support, but not emergency support (which should use the 911 or 811 systems).
  • Most employees can get access to care within 3 days, but…
    • Employees report dissatisfaction with the process of finding counsellors
    • Access for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ counsellors is limited due to lack of sufficient counsellors in the community.
    • EAP does not meet need for immediate, on-site crisis support.

 In discussions with Lacy Karpilo to review campus-wide resources that may address these needs.

Stress due to Block Plan 


We recognize the BP can create different stressors than semester schools 




New absence guidelines for mental health issues 

We recognize the Block Plan can create stress on our students and our faculty. Our Task Force will examine these stressors and will examine student and faculty needs as well as recommend new ideas.  

Emily Chan 


The Faculty Executive Committee, Curriculum Executive Committee, and department chairs have discussed the revision of existing guideline and policies. New policy passed:

Students are expected to attend courses regularly and are responsible for course work whether present or not. Instructors will determine attendance requirements for their courses. In general, students who miss an examination or a paper deadline because of illness or personal emergency are allowed to take the exam or submit the paper later.

Attendance policies must allow each student one absence to support well-being without penalty, details, or documentation (beyond notifying the professor about their absence). Instructors may designate certain days (e.g., exams that cannot be taken at multiple times, field trips) as days on which missing class will adversely affect a student’s grade because flexibility would put undue stress on other students and/or faculty.

Instructors should communicate such dates and their attendant grade consequences to students in advance. Instructors are not expected to reproduce class experiences for students who are absent. Syllabi may outline what steps students should take to prepare themselves to reengage with class upon their return.

All syllabi will have mental health resources information. See sample syllabi statement.

Anonymous reporting tool for students 

We will be educating students that the course evaluation they fill out in Banner is completely anonymous and gives all students the opportunity to not just rate the class but to share concerns about unsafe learning climate or practices.  

Emily Chan








Complete, launched Spring 2023






The course evaluation that all students complete in Banner is 100% anonymous. Anonymous comments are seen not only by the instructor, but also the department chair and the dean of the faculty. The course evaluation data file contains no student information, code, identifiers at all. Therefore, they are fully anonymous and is an effective vehicle for students to share anonymous comments about courses.  

Speak Up Colorado College was launched in Block 5.

Colorado College believes that a fundamental ingredient of organizational success and well-being is that all community members conduct themselves with basic honesty and integrity and in accordance with college policy and the law. To enhance communication and empower community members to promote ethical behavior, community members may use this system to report concerns or ask questions about ethical conduct, policy violations, or illegal behavior. Once your concern or question is received, it will be reviewed and processed by the Office of the President or the Office of Civil Rights. 

Faculty induced constraints on students' time  

Announcing we can make sure students can truly have a break from class, class assignments, emails, and notifications. 

Emily Chan


Norm setting discussions with all faculty—at the college-wide level, executive committee levels, and at departmental level about learning and instructional practices. Dean of the Faculty guidance on learning and instructional policies and practices that address time, scheduling, amount of work, learning objectives, and other instructional practices. 



Focus on more clear, transparent, and easier to access communications  

Todd Woodward


Internal Communications Manager is continuing to research and change the way we communicate with the campus, and building a strategic plan.

Health and Wellness website review 

Review content on all our resource websites for ease of access and clarity 

Todd Woodward

Block 1, 2023 

Assessment will begin in the Summer of 2023 but implementation will wait until the new AVP arrives 

New ways for the president and the cabinet to listen and engage with campus 

Block-by-block opportunities for students, staff and faculty to discuss issues facing campus 

Todd Woodward, Ryan Simmons

Block 8, 2023 

Working with the President’s office to outline all the ways we engage and get feedback from all areas of campus.

Cascading, human communications vs. digital  

We are too reliant on digital vs human communications especially in times of crises – we will develop a more timely and human process, arming campus to have human conversations and support 

Todd Woodward, Ryan Simmons  

Block 6, 2023 

Same as above. Outlining all ways campus can engage in-person with leadership

Report an issue - Last updated: 11/16/2023