Emotional Safety - IHE

Emotional Safety
Higher Education

College students who feel emotionally safe on campus have the confidence to express themselves, take risks, work collaboratively, and create meaningful connections with their peers, faculty, and staff.

The safer students feel emotionally, the more likely they are to learn and thrive. Conversely, students who feel emotionally unsafe or stressed face barriers to learning as they may grapple with embarrassment, boredom, and frustration when faced with difficulties or challenges.

IHEs can cultivate campus environments where students can feel emotionally safe. In the classroom, faculty can foster a trusting environment for students to learn, make mistakes, and challenge their own and others’ beliefs. This may require faculty reflecting on their own biases and reflections and showing vulnerability with their students so they can teach with empathy and understanding. Faculty can also encourage students to learn by making mistakes, recognizing their efforts, and providing constructive criticism to help students feel emotionally safe.

Featured Resources

Front page of The Invisible Faces of Runaway and Homeless Youth resource

Highlights efforts by the Office of Juvenile and Delinquency Prevention and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to respond to and provide services for runaway youth.

SAMHSA Warning Signs and Risk Factors for Emotional Distress front page

Outlines the common warning signs and risk factors for emotional distress that children, adults, and first responders often experience. Also, highlights a disaster distress helpline for further contact.

Related Resources

Other Podcast

American Institutes for Research

U.S. Department of Education

The contents of the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments Web site were assembled under contracts from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Safe and Supportive Schools to the American Institutes for Research (AIR), Contract Number  91990021A0020.

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