Shaun emphasizes the importance of mental wellbeing the first day of class. He always provides full support when it comes to academic pressure or even pressures from life or peers. Shaun truly understands how students are struggling with pressure and stress and he always open to talk about it in class or during his office hours. He is a supportive, kind and wise person with an immaculate-heart.
Shaun asks if we're doing alright, if the workload is doable, asks for input every lesson, is always there to help, and creates a welcoming, homey environment in his classes.
Shaun is willing to help and always committed to making the classroom a safe place, while being empathetic and kind. He's also an open, warm professional that knows his course well and wants to see you shine!
I like to think of mental health as physical health. Physical health can look different to everyone, and everyone's goals are specific to them. Physically I don't strive to be the strongest or fastest; I don't want to be too skinny or overweight. I want to be able to participate in reasonable physical activities like walking, taking the stairs or running if I am in a hurry. Sometimes I would like to be able to push myself and play sports or have adventures with friends and family without being laid up for days. On rare occasions, I want to go all in. I fully expect to be tired and sore afterwards, but I know I will return to normal.
For me, mental health means having a genuinely positive outlook on life without working at it. It means having the emotional stability and resilience to do what I have to do in a day with enough leftover to do the things I want to do. It also means I have the courage to ask for help or even say no when needed, and on rare occasions, I want to push myself beyond what I normally do and have the resilience to bounce back and grow from the experience.
Mental health is like physical health; to stay healthy, you need to eat well, exercise and know your limits. It takes time and practice to get to your goal, it won't happen overnight, and if you try to make it happen, you get hurt. It is hard to stay in shape on your own, but it becomes easier if you are in an environment that provides the right support.
Queen's does a great job of supporting mental health for students, staff and faculty. Many resources are available that discuss what you should do and, in many cases, how to do it. I am not a mental health expert, so I don't spend much time discussing specific mental health challenges but focus on the accommodations that may be required throughout the term. I also develop classroom norms to promote a safe and healthy learning environment. I provide the following accommodation for any student to take advantage of when facing challenging times:
- Flexible Deadlines
- Alternative Assignments
- Clear and Consistent Communications
- Opportunities to resubmit assignments
- Input into the development of assessments
- Flexible office hours
RESPECT | COURAGE | VISIBILITY | OPENNES | FOCUS | COMMITMENT | SENSE OF HUMOUR
--- Shaun Cahill