Megan McAllister is an inspiring, compassionate educator who works really hard to help students understand (and be excited by) course material. Megan really cares about her students and is very supportive of our mental health and wellbeing.
To me, mental health is an umbrella term that encompasses emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. It is also a vital component to one's overall health. As defined by the World Health Organization, "Mental health is a state of wellbeing in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community". I believe this definition lends itself very well to the state of wellbeing that we hope for ourselves and for our students -- that we can all work productively and contribute to the academic community.
I believe that one crucial role educators play in supporting and enhancing student mental health and wellbeing is about first recognizing students' differences and the various barriers they may face in order to provide an equitable learning opportunity. One of the ways that I advocate for and support mental health and wellbeing is to follow one of the principles of Universal Design for Learning by presenting the same content in multiple ways (e.g., PowerPoint slides posted ahead of class, pictures and discussion during lecture to support PowerPoint slides). I also foster a learning environment where students can share their ideas in different ways (e.g., class discussions, small groups, or online platform). I believe it is my responsibility as an educator to create a learning environment that offers various means for students to learn and to share their ideas.
--- Megan McAllister