Tackling The Growing Mental Health Concern Using Strengths-Based Coaching & Case Management
Case Managers will develop a foundational understanding of how to implement coaching methods into their work that supports students in distress.
Implementing a coaching-based model within case management can serve to benefit both students and staff by promoting skill-building interventions, which improves both autonomy and academic success, while also utilizing a preventative and proactive approach to increasing student resilience and distress tolerance. Additionally, by implementing specific, time-limited, action plans that include coaching-based methods, case managers can measure outcomes of success and begin to alleviate the growing susceptibility of burnout being reported in the field.
Students are entering college with a significant increase in emotional health concerns than seen in previous generations. “Recent studies indicated there are growing numbers of students arriving on college campuses who represent a wide array of mental health challenges and diagnoses, and both university counseling center and college student personnel need to be knowledgeable about those challenges (Barclay, S., 2014).” Along with pre-diagnosed concerns, newly identified “Generation Z” has also shown a decrease in communication skills, distress tolerance, and resiliency.
Research has shown that brief stress management interventions targeting coping and executive function may benefit college students at risk for psychopathology. Two promising avenues for preventive interventions in college students include the development of skills to cope with and regulate emotions in response to stress and the enhancement of executive function skills that are necessary for managing stress and regulating emotions (Bettis, A., Coiro, M., England, J., Murphy, L., Zelkowitz, R., Dejardins, L., Eskridge, R., Adery, L., Yarboi, J., Pardo, D. & Compas, B., 2017).
Coaching is one of the tools that case managers can integrate into their programs to help students develop these skills. At its core, coaching is time-limited and action-based. Several coaching styles can be useful in student support programs, but Gallup’s StrengthsFinder, in particular, is being implemented on many campuses throughout the nation because it is a proactive, positive, and holistic approach to student success and development. StrengthsFinder has shown increases in student’s confidence toward identifying their personal strengths, accurately assessing their abilities, and applying their strengths to help them learn and engage with others more effectively (Stebleton, M., Soria, K., Albecker, A., 2012). A strengths-based approach can, therefore, help students develop self-awareness through knowledge of their personal strengths and talents and acknowledging areas of development, which can be very useful in a goal-oriented case management model.
According to the 2017 HECMA Membership Survey, 95.5% of case managers work directly to advocate on behalf of an individual student and through broader academic system networking (Dugo, Falter, and Molnar, 2017). Adapting a strengths-based case management approach that promotes collaboration, skill development, and targeted, action-oriented interventions (‘doing with’) reduces the workload of case managers and instills autonomy and resilience in the student. Additionally, goal-oriented tasks also foster student accountability. Case Managers can, therefore, use strengths-based coaching as a way to help their students learn how to self-advocate and communicate their needs and concerns effectively so that they don’t develop a dependency on services that will terminate post-graduation.
- Gain an understanding of strengths-based coaching as it relates to case management
- Identify specific techniques for integrating strengths-based coaching interventions in a non-clinical case management setting
- Learn strategies to foster resilience and distress tolerance in students through strengths-based coaching interventions
- Student Services/Affairs
- Case Managers
- Disability Services
- Any educator interested in learning more about case management in higher education
Jamie Molnar, LMHC, QS, has 15 years of clinical and organizational psychology experience, with particular expertise in clinical counseling, coaching, case management, crisis response, and health and wellness initiatives. She earned her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Central Florida and her Masters in Applied Psychology (Clinical) from Murdoch University in Perth, Australia. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, a State of Florida Qualified LMHC Supervisor, and a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach.
Jamie is an advocate for mental wellness and early intervention. She currently works in clinical practice in St. Petersburg, Florida, provides higher education consulting nationally, and offers virtual coaching and courses for therapists and wellness professionals. She has worked in a variety of clinical settings but more recently spent 5 years in higher education working in both clinical and non-clinical roles in Student Affairs. She has experience in college counseling, wellness outreach initiatives, chairing the BIT team, and designing, implementing, and overseeing case management services. Previously, she was an active member of the Higher Education Case Manager Association’s (HECMA) Operations and Strategic Planning Committee, co-authored the 2017 HECMA Member Survey and Analysis Report and provided mentorship to new case managers through the HECMA Mentorship program. Jamie has also served as an affiliated consultant for the TNG Group, on the advisory board for the National Association for Behavioral Intervention and Threat Assessment and was an Editor for the National Journal for Behavioral Intervention Teams. She writes and presents regularly on case management and mental health in higher education.
Bio current as of February, 2021.
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