Elizabeth Baisley

Department of Political Studies

People Directory Affiliation Category

During class, Elizabeth Baisley makes sure to remind us that we aren't taking up too much space, that we are allowed to ask questions, and they make sure to acknowledge our mental health. They gave fantastic representation to all LGBTQ+ students and racialized students in their lectures. They are excellent and they make me feel seen, heard, validated and acknowledged. They are equitable in their teaching and make teaching accessible to all students while maintaining breadth and rigour.

Anonymous Student

To me, mental health is about the parts of health that tend to be ignored by focusing solely on physical health.  This includes emotional, psychological, social, and sometimes even spiritual wellbeing.  

There is so much to do to address mental health issues, including advocacy within our classrooms, departments, faculties, universities, communities, and provinces. For now, I prioritize changes I can make within my classes. I focus on three broad areas.

First, in terms of workload, I try to make things more manageable for everyone involved, including students, graders, teaching assistants, and even the instructor! This includes being mindful of the amount of time it will take students to consume course content and work on assignments.

Second, I design classes using the principles of universal design for learning. I assume that most or all students will experience short or long-term disabilities, including mental health issues. As much as possible, I design classes to accommodate these circumstances from the start rather than trying to find ad hoc accommodations.

Finally, when it comes to climate, I try to reduce stigma around mental health issues by discussing it from the first day of class and continuing to check in throughout the term. 

--- Dr. Elizabeth Baisley