Creating a work environment that is conducive to good mental health is necessarily a collective endeavor — it requires communities to come together in support of one another’s wellbeing, become comfortable speaking about mental health, and destigmatize the need for support. The Faculty of Arts and Social Science’s newly established Mental Health Resource and Support Peer Connectors pilot aims to meet those goals from a grassroots level, by working with faculty who are interested to begin that work. Six faculty members volunteered to become on-the-ground points of contact for colleagues in FASS who might be experiencing a difficult or emotionally trying period, want support for an ongoing concern, and/or who are unsure what resources are available and how to access them.

The Mental Health Resource and Support Peer Connectors received training in the following areas:

  • The importance of maintaining confidentiality, as well as the limits of confidentiality (e.g. in cases where there may be a risk of harm).
  • Knowing and maintaining boundaries around support (e.g. never taking on a counselling role and being clear about what they can offer).
  • Resources for faculty/staff referrals related to maintaining wellness, managing stress, and addressing mental health concerns.

The Mental health Resource and Support Peer Connectors are:

  • Anne Bowker, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, and Associate Dean (Student Affairs)
  • Shelley Brown, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
  • Susan Birkwood, Instructor III, Department of English
  • James Deaville, Full Professor, School of Music
  • Kahente Horn-Miller, Associate Professor, School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies
  • Eva Kartchava, Associate Professor, School of Linguistics and Language Studies

Anyone who is interested in a step-by-step guide for supporting colleagues, can access our online resource (PDF).

If you are interested in signing up for a one hour workshop that offers an introduction to and discussion of the materials in the guide, you can sign up for a workshop scheduled to take place on May 5th at noon. You can learn more about the workshop at the following link:

Tuesday, March 10, 2020 in
Share: Twitter, Facebook