Nic has always encouraged people to reach out to student health supports if needed when going through a difficult moment. I really appreciated his care and kindness and feel he deserves this award. He is incredibly kind, and always willing to help you with anything you need. He's who you go to when you need answers!
Mental health is a reflection of how we feel and colours how we see and navigate the world around us. It is our vessel and guide for interpreting and intra-acting.
Being empathetic, present, taking an interest, listening, and confidently offering potential avenues to consider while respecting someone's decision or feelings are all things I try to actively practice to support others. Educators and Staff play a tremendous role in supporting student mental health. Due to the inherent power-imbalance and nature of our relationships with students, it is essential we are easy-to-approach, kind, empathetic, and understanding individuals in order to get students to even feel comfortable enough to reach out and let you know when they are experiencing difficulties. Without students feeling they can confidentially speak to you about mental health problems, there is no supportive environment.
So many faculty and staff are in similar situations or have had previous experiences. So many faculty staff are supportive and will help guide or assist you however they can. Don't stop yourself from reaching out or asking for some help if you need it - everyone would want you to get the support you need rather than staying silent. Remember, we are all a part of the university community and we must do our best to look out and care for one another.
--- Nic Kinghill