Stepped Care Model for Campus Well-being

What is Stepped Care?

The University of North Carolina Asheville has adopted a Stepped Care framework to campus wellbeing. This framework, adapted from Dr. Peter Cornish’s Stepped Care 2.0 model (2020), is an evidenced-based approach to supporting the wellbeing of students in a way that is non-linear, highly integrated, effective, yet least resource intensive and has been successfully adopted by universities including NC State University, Miami University, The University of North Georgia, University of Dayton, Notre Dame, Spelman College, The George Washington University and more.

The Stepped Care Model is founded on the following beliefs:

  • Students should feel supported by staff, faculty, and fellow students.
  • Students require varying levels and avenues of careCare is not linear and one size does not fit all.
  • Care is co-designed and continuously being improved.
  • Students are active participants in the change process.
  • Moving from lower to higher levels of care based on need and minimal assessment often increases effectiveness and lowers the need for intensive intervention.
I’m not a care provider or first responder. What does this mean for me?

Observe: We invite you to observe the Stepped Care Model to Campus Wellbeing not as an additional responsibility or ask but as a resource, collective reflection, and centralized information hub of what we are already doing across our departments and with the expertise we provide. The Model is a resource for both you and students.

Consider: We invite you to consider this model not as a way to erase or fix the challenges our students face but to serve as a way to connect students to helpful resources that are rooted in the relationships you already hold with students in order to model and build resiliency.

Learn More: We invite you to learn more about how the Stepped Care Model for Campus Wellbeing can support your work with students by reading the faculty and staff guide. The guide offers insight into:

  • Identifying students who are experiencing varying levels of distress, disruption, or emergency
  • Ways to encourage students to connect to resources that align with their needs
  • Opportunities to directly consult with professional staff who specialize in support and intervention to best address the needs of students while keeping information private

You can also request more training for your team below:

  • Would you like a brief overview of the Stepped Care Model for Campus Wellbeing? Request an overview presentation (about 45 minutes) 
  • Are you interested in having a more in-depth conversation about how the Stepped Care Model for Campus Wellbeing can support your work and your department? Request a workshop (90-120 minutes) where we will take a deep dive into the Model and the staff/faculty guide while addressing your specific questions, concerns and experiences with students.
    • Work with student leaders or student staff? This workshop is a great opportunity for student leaders to focus on steps 1-3 (Self Care, Building Community, and Developing Your Skills) and how they can support their peers while caring for themselves.
  • Have additional resources to add to the Model or want to be part of further developing and improving Stepped Care on campus? We are looking for early adopters! Reach out to Associate Dean of Students, Laura Carper.