Mental Health Supports for BIPOC Students

In this webinar, we invite a panel of advisors, directors and facilitators from various post-secondary Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) support programs from around the country to discuss their programs. We will cover what the programs offer, why it is vital to support BIPOC students and the panel’s experience in supporting those students. The panel will delve further into gaps in current services, challenges and how they would improve their programs. The webinar will conclude with a question and answer period.

Presenter Bios

Nicole Soriano is a 2nd year MSW student at the University of Toronto. She has a BA in psychology from York University and a post-grad certificate in addictions and mental health from Humber College. She is passionate about reducing barriers to accessing mental health services for minority groups and health care policy. She has over two years of experience providing support for halfway house residents and those with substance abuse.

Adam Guzkowski supports undergraduate students in their academic journeys at Trent University, helping students explore possibilities; develop and revise plans; address challenging circumstances; connect to other resources or supports; and strategize next steps. He has been a part of the Trent community since the mid-1990s, and in addition to co-designing and co-leading You Belong Here and helping design and teach the Bridge Program, has been a student, alumni volunteer, teaching assistant, course instructor, and staff member in Academic Advising and the Centre for Teaching and Learning. Adam is passionate about teaching and learning and has completed degrees and certifications in Cultural Studies, Outdoor Recreation, Coaching, Adult Education, and Career Development and Academic Advising. They also love creativity, community building, diversity, and inclusion, and have volunteered with role-playing conventions, academic and leadership conferences, and organizations working in areas such as social justice, education, health, immigration, and the performing arts.

Shanecia Elias is a Guyanese born Canadian immigrant. After completing high school, she applied for Trent University’s Nursing program and shortly transferred into their Honours Psychology program. She is currently working to complete her undergraduate degree (BSc Honours in Psychology) while working on campus at Black Student Support as a Program Facilitator, and in Careerspace as one of the Career Peer and Equity Student Assistants. She hopes to continue her passion for providing community supports upon graduation through pursing a master’s degree in counselling and working with minority communities.  

Jalyne Rose was born and raised in Canada. She is currently completing her undergraduate in Psychology with a minor in Business Administration at Trent University. Jalyne has just joined the Black Student Support team at Trent in September of 2022 and has been facilitating and providing that safe space for black students. 

Kayla Wainwright is a Canadian-born student who is interested in the field of Social Work. Kayla has a passion for working with the unhoused. She hopes to be able to work with unhoused youth of colour upon graduation. She is one of the Black Student Support Facilitators at Trent University which creates a safe space for black students to have open discussions, do homework and engage with others on campus. 

Lula Adam is a registered social worker and the Student Equity Diversity and Inclusivity Coordinator at the University of Alberta. She was born in Egypt to Somali parents whose life journey led them to Canada.  Thanks to her parents’ journey she experienced different cultures, perspectives, and ways of knowing, which enhanced her intersectional lens. As an African, Black, Muslim woman who wears the hejab and is an immigrant and the daughter of immigrants, her intersectional identities also gifted her with another kaleidoscope of perspectives and lenses.  She has also had the privilege of working in many sectors such as international NGO, post-secondary, gender-based violence, non-profit, and the immigration and settlement sector. In each space, she saw how people bring their unique lenses to the issues and create their own narratives.  She brings this knowledge, and her own lived experiences to her work, her daily interactions, and her pursuit of equity, understanding, inclusion, safety, justice, and opportunity for all. 

Carla Grey is a Counsellor in the Centre for Accessible Learning and Counselling Services at Centennial College, a position she has held for the last 15 years. She is currently Chair of the College Committee of Accessibility Issues. She is an EdD candidate in Counselling Psychology at the University of Toronto. Her research interest is critical multicultural counselling and psychotherapy.

Mona Chan (MSW, MA, RSW), is a Counsellor in the Centre for Accessible Learning and Counselling Services at Centennial College. Mona joined Centennial in 2019 with over 15 years’ experience providing counselling and guidance to college/university level students, youth, families, and newcomers. Mona has undertaken clinical training in Psycho-educational assessments, Single Session, Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), Trauma Informed, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. As a former international student, Mona completed her two master degrees in the US. She moved to Canada in 2006 having previously lived and worked as a Social Worker in the US and Hong Kong.

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