Arcan is supportive, thoughtful, gracious and helpful. I felt as though my perspective was not only seen, but valued, and my opinions truly were taken into account. Speaking to him felt like a very safe and comfortable thing to do, and I felt as though he really, genuinely cared about me as a person. When I apologized for bringing multiple things up to him, he told me he was so glad that I brought my concerns to him and encouraged me to keep doing so if I ran into anything in the future, which made me feel truly valued rather than a problem that needs solving. He also was sure to follow up with me and assured me that he, as well as others, were there as supports anytime I needed them.
Wellbeing. It is a state of health and therefore becomes the basis of one's relationship with life including oneself, other beings, and nature. Unfortunately, that basis is not always supportive and that is why it is critical for us to care about mental health.
I try to let students share as much or as little as they want to. That conversation is a fact-finding exercise but without too many questions. I remind myself to avoid fixing, diagnosing or second guess their situation. I try to listen carefully to what they tell and talk about self-care. And the most important is to remind them of my own limits and offer them help in seeking professional support and provide information.
I wish more of us were to actively think about making 'good' choices instead of focusing on the 'right' choices only. Unfortunately, I mostly become aware of a student's mental health challenges when it affects performance in the class. The easy way out is to remind students about their responsibilities. At the end of the day, I have a course to deliver or a project to complete. But I do not think that mindset helps anyone. I try to remind myself that they did not ask, plan, or desire to be in the situation that they are in. I do not believe that anyone would want that. So I try to ask "how can I help" in this particular situation.
--- Arcan Nalca