Throughout the term, Madison Robertson provided mental health resources information to the class and consistently emphasized the importance of taking care of our mental health. Madison also always reiterated that she was always available to chat or guide us in the right direction if we help with anything. It is extremely evident that Madison cares deeply about the mental health and well-being of her students through her understanding, flexibility and willingness to support.
To me, mental health means taking care of my emotional and mental well-being. It is a combination of my ability to handle everyday stress, maintain healthy relationships, and live and work productively. Mental health is complex. It is something everyone has, is applicable at all stages of our lives, and is just as important as our physical health.
Supporting student mental health is imperative in order to help students succeed in their education. One cannot prioritize their education or work if their mental health is suffering. To support my students with their mental health, I take time at the beginning of my courses to provide students with the resources available at Queen's, and through other organizations, for mental health and wellbeing. I also ask students for their feedback at multiple time points during the semester to find out how I can better support them, and their mental health. As an educator, my primary focus is to ensure that I provide a safe and welcoming environment where students feel comfortable seeking help or asking me questions if they need support in their mental health. Finally, I also believe that mental health cannot be addressed with a one-size-fits-all approach, as every student has their own experiences, each as important as the next. I ensure that I am up-to-date on my knowledge of resources for mental health, so I can be informative and attentive when my students need it.
In different faculties across Queen's University, we teach about mental health as it pertains to different contexts and topics. I believe it's important that what we teach our students in the classroom is reflected in the support and dedication that we provide students for their own mental health.
--- Madison Robertson