Skip to main content

Sample syllabus language to promote student wellbeing

Brief option

If you find yourself struggling with your mental or physical health this semester, please feel free to approach me. I will try to be flexible and accommodating. You can also access free, confidential mental health services at Harvard University Counseling and Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

Detailed option

Students often experience stressors that can impact both their academic success and their personal well-being. These stressors may include academic pressures, sleep problems, relationship and social concerns, and challenges associated with adjusting to college/graduate school/[fill in with specifics], mental health, alcohol or other drugs, identities, finances, or life events. If you or a friend is struggling, I (we) strongly encourage you to seek support.

If the source of your stress is this class, please contact me [insert info] so that we can find solutions together.

If you are struggling in multiple classes, unsure of whether you are making the most of your time at Harvard, or unsure what academic resources are available to you, check in with your academic advisor/resident dean/mentor [fill in relevant resources here].

For personal concerns, Harvard offers a variety of resources, many which are listed on the University’s student wellbeing website.

The Harvard University Counseling and Mental Health Services CAMHS Cares Line 617-495-2042 is a 24/7 support line for Harvard students who have mental health concerns. Students can speak directly with a CAMHS Cares Counselor about an urgent concern or if they just need to talk to someone about a difficult challenge or mental health issue.

Heads-up language (for specialized courses that take a deep dive into emotional, or self-reflective content)

Interested students should note that this course will be an intensely emotional experience. We explore students’ own cases of failure and success as well as their experiences of trauma and its impact on identity. Students can choose how deeply they explore these experiences, and no one will be pushed to share more than they wish. Nevertheless, students should not take this class if they do not feel prepared to undertake a potentially destabilizing exploration.