Appendix A


Resources for teaching assistants and graduate assistants

Teaching assistants (TA) and graduate assistants (GA) straddle the roles of student and educator in the post-secondary environment. This can make things complex when they are working to support student mental health while also maintaining their own mental health. Below are some resources to help them support student mental health and their own mental health.

For more resources, take a look at CICMH’s graduate student mental health toolkit.

Supporting student mental health
  • Engage with the TA training program on campus to learn more about creating well-being-enhancing conditions in labs/tutorials/classes
  • Take mental health training to learn to recognize the signs that students may be struggling (such as More Feet on the Ground, safeTALK)
Supporting your teaching/graduate assistant mental health
  • Consult the TA training program to see if they offer sessions/training about resilience and well-being for graduate students
  • Work toward using time management skills to divide TA/GA work from work as a graduate student
  • Build a positive relationship with the faculty member for whom you assist
  • You can build a positive relationship with them in the following ways:
    • Clearly state your needs so they can respond and mentor you effectively
    • Communicate with them regularly
    • Discuss the expectations for your work so you can come to a common understanding of what is expected
    • Address any issues/conflicts with the faculty advisor or faculty member as soon as they arise
    • Seek additional supports through the department/institution if you feel them necessary
    • Utilize your employee assistance program or insurance to access mental health supports
    • There are also free resources like BounceBack

Sources: SFU TA Wellbeing Project (2020), UBC Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (2020), Queens University (2020), UBC Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (2020)

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