Improving Learning and Mental Health in the College Classroom
352 pages, 5 x 8
Release Date:01 Apr 2023

Improving Learning and Mental Health in the College Classroom

West Virginia University Press

How teachers can help combat higher education’s mental health crisis.

Mental health challenges on college campuses were a huge problem before COVID-19, and now they are even more pronounced. But while much has been written about higher education’s mental health crisis, very little research focuses on the role played by those on campus whose influence on student well-being may well be greatest: teachers. Drawing from interviews with students and the scholarship of teaching and learning, this book helps correct the oversight, examining how faculty can—instead of adding to their own significant workloads or duplicating counselors’ efforts—combat student stress through adjustments to the work they already do as teachers.

Improving Learning and Mental Health in the College Classroom provides practical tips that reduce unnecessary discouragement. It demonstrates how small improvements in teaching can have great impacts in the lives of students with mental health challenges, while simultaneously boosting learning for all students.

‘This is a necessary book for anyone who teaches in higher education. By weaving together research and practice, the authors show faculty how small steps we take can contribute to improved learning and mental health for our students.’
Peter Felten, coauthor of Relationship-Rich Education: How Human Connections Drive Success in College

‘Mental health challenges for college students are at a crisis point, and this book is a must-read for instructors. Readers will gain understanding of how mental health issues can obstruct learning, and of how to build a toolkit of research-based teaching practices designed to mitigate harmful stressors and promote learning. Intentional design choices lend structured support to those who need it most, and can benefit all students during the transformative college years.’
Jenny Frederick, Yale University

‘A readable synthesis of the research into student mental well-being. The authors provide plenty of relevant and actionable advice on how faculty can effectively incorporate attention to mental health into their daily teaching practices.’
Jason Pickavance, Salt Lake Community College

Robert Eaton is a professor of religious education, Steven V. Hunsaker is a professor in the department of languages and international studies, and Bonnie Moon is a professor of mathematics, all at Brigham Young University–Idaho.



1. Why Anxiety and Depression Matter for Learning

2. Become Natural Mentors

3. Design Courses with Students with Mental Health Challenges in Mind

4. Awaken Students’ Innate Drive to Learn

5. Foster Emotional Resilience

6. Build Community

7. Avoid Pitfalls with Active Learning

8. Promote Wellness Practices



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