Lydia provides many resources and programs for improving a student's quality of life such as podcasts, write nights and speak-up. She is very supportive and knowledgeable in the international environment and multi-disciplinary working set.
For me, mental health means being connected to myself, with my thoughts and feelings, and being connected to others, with my actions and relationships. This means taking the time to be attune to my needs, and what I can give to others professionally and personally. It also means knowing when to seek support and engaging in the lifelong process of learning and healing through strategies for, and making choices around, coping with stress and pain.
In my role as Intercultural Academic Support Coordinator, I support student mental health with programs and resources that help develop awareness around assumptions, expectations, and choice-making. Transitioning to new academic environments can involve navigating hidden assumptions and expectations about learning and academic skills, and the hiddenness of these assumptions and expectations can be disruptive to academic success and wellbeing. Through programs like the podcast, International Voices at Queen's, and the Academic Connections Certificate, you can hear from students who have navigated academic culture shock, engage explicitly with academic expectations, and learn about resources that can support your success and wellbeing. Additionally, I co-facilitate workshops like Write Nights and Speak Up where we empower students to have more confidence when making choices in their academic work. Educators and staff support students by listening to and learning with them, and thereby developing and offering informed programs, services, and classes. However, educators and staff must advocate for the university system to evolve and change so that all students are given equitable opportunities and access to resources for wellness and thriving.
--- Lydia Skulstad