Dr. Janet Jull has been nothing but kind, personable and very supportive - particularly during the pandemic. Her innate ability to connect with and support her students is strengthened by her knowledge of and awareness of the student experience. During our courses, Dr. Jull regularly made the effort to check in with the class to ensure that content was understood and to ensure that flexibility is built into the scheduling of the courses.
I would describe mental health as a sense of well-being or wellness, that includes a feeling of belonging and purpose in life. I view mental health as affected by numerous factors from daily life, including the stress of balancing school and work with health and relationships.
First of all, it is important to recognize that going to school can be a great way to enhance the well-being and wellness of individuals. And school can also be incredibly stressful and make it difficult to maintain a healthy life balance!
To support student mental health, I work at finding ways to engage with students and to be able to listen and learn about their experiences as learners. I‚ have been through and now play a role in the educational system, but that does not mean I understand what it is like to be a student, especially these days when people are facing a lot of disruption in their day-to-day lives. The students are always teaching me about how to support a healthy learning environment, that is, an environment that is supportive, challenging, and inclusive. I think that educators have a role to play in shaping educational systems to be the very best for learners, and that includes supporting a culture of belonging in our educational systems.
I believe that learning happens when people feel that they are participating as part of a group and in which their views are valued, and what they are learning is meaningful to them. To support students and their mental health, we - every one of us in the educational setting - need to work together.
--- Dr. Janet Elizabeth Jull