Supporting faculty to create a healthy and engaging learning environment

Introducing the Toolkit for Faculty & Staff

Being a faculty member is about much more than delivering course content and evaluating academic performance. It is an opportunity to be a part of both the life and learning journey of our students. This often necessitates the wearing of many hats: instructor, mentor, confidant, advisor to name a few.

It is no secret that in recent years students have reported increasing academic stress and anxiety. One of the first places where metal health issues are noticed is the classroom (Plieto – De Rango, 2017). How our students experience their learning environment impacts their ability to learn and can impact their mental well-being. At the same time, the demands of faculty members have increased, and they too are experiencing increased stress levels.  

This interactive webinar aims to highlight some important considerations, anecdotes and findings that impact the mental health and wellness of the learning environment. We will be sharing information from the recently released Mental Health Toolkit for Faculty and Staff (see link below) and discussing these considerations with guests representing the voice of both faculty and support staff. Please bring your thoughts, perspectives and inquiries to the session. 

Key areas of focus will provide insight and perspective on the following areas: 

  • How can we create a healthy balance for both faculty and students to promote engagement and well-being? 
  • What is intersectionality in curriculum design and how can it be incorporated into our classrooms? 

Cecilia Amoakohene is the Community Partnership Coordinator at the Centre for Innovation in Campus Mental Health. She is the lead on the Campus/Community Partnership Project and provides organizational and project management support to campuses and community organizations looking to engage in intentional partnerships. Prior to beginning her work at the Centre for Innovation in Campus Mental Health, Cecilia worked for several years in health promotion at the University of Toronto’s St, George Campus. 

Chad Jankowski is currently the Mental Health Programs Officer for the Faculty of Arts & Science at the University of Toronto where he draws upon many years of experience developing, delivering, and evaluating health-promoting initiatives to support individual and community wellbeing.  Chad’s work has included consulting with partners to develop health-enhancing solutions, supporting system navigation, and delivering engaging learning experiences. Chad is coping with physical distancing by eating all of the food, embracing online board games, playing Pokémon Go (yes, still), and attending virtual activities hosted by Out & Out Toronto.

Michael Lee is a Senior Instructor of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. Michael’s expertise includes: campus mental health, chronic mental illness, youth and young adult mental health and teaching and student wellbeing. Michael played a key role in the focus of content in the CICMH Faculty & Staff Toolkit.

Dr. Andrew Szeto is currently Director, Mental Health Strategy responsible for guiding the implementation of the 28 recommendations within the University of Calgary’s Campus Mental Health Strategy. He is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Calgary and a Principal Investigator at the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Over the past eight years, Dr. Szeto has focused on the development and evaluation of workplace mental illness stigma reduction and mental health promotion programs, such as The Working Mind and The Working Mind for First Responders. Over the past several years, he has worked to develop and pilot The Inquiring Mind Post-Secondary, a program tailored for post-secondary students. As well, he has developed a junior high/high school version of the program called The Inquiring Mind Youth. Dr. Szeto also conducts basic research that examines the stigma of mental illness through a social psychological lens, including research on labelling, attitudes, and new interventions to reduce stigma. More recently, his research has focused on post-secondary mental health, and is also a part of the Technical Committee that developed the Canadian Standards Association and Mental Health Commission of Canada’s Mental Health for Post-secondary Students (i.e., The National Standard for Post-Secondary Student Mental Health and Wellbeing). Dr. Szeto continues to publish academic articles on various topics related to mental health and wellbeing and the stigma of mental illness.

Click here to access and download the Faculty & Staff Toolkit!

CICMH Faculty & Staff Toolkit 2020

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