Brigitte Bachmann


Language, Literatures and Cultures

People Directory Affiliation Category

Brigitte is committed to creating a safe space for her students at all times. In my 1st year, I was going through a difficult situation in my personal life causing a drop in my mental health. Brigitte took notice of this and dedicated her office hours to teaching me 1 on 1 lessons that I missed so I wouldn't fall behind. To this day she still checks in on me. Brigitte is a compassionate and caring person that always puts her students' mental health above all. She has a huge heart and has always made an effort to check in even after the term is over. She is a professor that I will truly never forget.

Anonymous Student

As mental health is often misunderstood, I find it very important to educate oneself to be able to recognize mental health issues, which can adversely affect one's ability to function. It is very important to be surrounded by people, who understand those sensitivities. In universities these would mainly be the educators, as they are directly involved with the students.

I think letting students know that making mistakes is part of the learning process, and has nothing to do with failure, helps them to build up their self-confidence. Also, the fact that they know that I am available for questions (emails), helps building an educator/student relationship, which may open the door for more personal conversation, if needed. Here I have to add, that I am of a certain age, which can provide students a sense of confidence in someone who is more mature in their approach to a particular issue. 

Mental health issues have always been part of my life, so I automatically observe my student's behaviours, which is easier done in small classes. If I have the impression, that students are having mental health problems, I invite them to my office to talk about the reasons of the behavioural or performance changes, I had noticed. At that moment it is very important to mainly listen, and then ask if help would be welcomed. Offering help is delicate. Respectfully, I try to ask the student, what help they think, might be needed. This often results in a plan, we would work out together to move forward.

I have noticed over the past several year particularly, that mental health issues have become more prominent. It requires us, as educators to be more understanding.

--- Brigitte Bachmann