Ajay- at my college counseling services are included in the students' fees. Usually run by a PhD or a master's level clinician with grad students in training working in the counseling center. My concern is that we need a way to destigmatize accessing counseling services- to make mental health services as natural as having your teeth cleaned or getting a test for strep throat. The students I work with have so much anxiety that it prevents them from accessing any services, speaking with faculty or even social activities- keeps them in their rooms playing video games. If we are thinking about future skills managing anxiety and depression should be part of the college experience. It goes beyond "grit" and "growth mindset" to something more deeply embedded- perhaps it is connected to mindfulness.
Ajay- I really appreciate the context of reframing the system of higher ed- I also think we have to look at education from primary school through college, I see you have high schools but- suppose (in the US) we had a way to make all schools equitably resourced and rigorous with social and cultural experiences, we would certainly be leveling the playing field for first generation and low-income students to succeed in higher ed.
Caitlin- This really is a terrific way to provide mentoring to students in academic risk. I am impressed that you get students to participate. That is the real strength of the program (in addition to training for mentors). Once a student connects they generally work to stay enrolled.