Post-secondary institutions have a unique opportunity to help shape the campus community's long-term health and wellbeing behaviours. The Canadian Campus Wellbeing Survey (CCWS) is a short survey tailored for post-secondary institutions in Canada to learn about student health and wellbeing. Besides helping institutions assess their students' mental and physical health, the CCWS is a tool to help institutions identify priorities for policy and/or program intervention. Led by a team at UBC, the student version of the CCWS has now been deployed at over 65 post-secondary institutions across Canada as of Winter 2021.
The CCWS aligns with the Canadian National Standard for Mental Health and Well-Being for Post-Secondary Students, a set of flexible guidelines to aid post-secondary institutions in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of their students. Designed as an assessment tool, the CCWS covers nine core sections, including mental health assets, student experience, physical health/health behaviours, substance use, food security, and academic achievement. To allow institutions flexibility and an opportunity to collect institutionally specific information, schools can customize the survey by excluding and/or incorporating additional modules in other health and wellbeing areas.
The CCWS also provides post-secondary institutions with an opportunity to share knowledge across institutions anonymously. Post-survey, institutions receive a customized dataset and an interactive reporting tool called the Tableau dashboard to view their data. The Tableau dashboard offers a unique and valuable feature that allows institutions to compare their data with other participating non-identified institutions. This comparison enables institutions to observe and examine prevalent issues affecting the health and wellbeing of the broader post-secondary Canadian population and explore the differences between different geographical areas. To complement the use of the data to inform institutional planning and practice, CCSS data is also available to researchers to pursue investigator-initiated research (see https://www.ccws-becc.ca/data-access-publications).
To further embrace a whole campus approach, an employee version of the CCWS was recently released for institutions to take part in future deployments. Like the student version of the CCWS, the employee version covers seven core sections, including workplace experience, health service utilization, demographics, and five optional modules. The CCWS hopes to equip all Canadian post-secondary institutions with the data to inform the policies and practices needed to create healthier campus communities.
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