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Erin Burns

Peer Health Outreach Coordinator


Health Promotion, Student Wellness Services

Erin helps facilitate and run several peer to peer health promotion initiatives such as the Peer Health Educators and Peer Wellness Navigators. Without her leadership and guidance of these programs, they would not be to the standard that they are today. She helps other students support student mental health while also actively caring for the mental health of student volunteers and staff. She is extremely passionate about student centred work and voice, ensuring that the mental health concerns of students currently attending Queen's are listened to and then actionable steps are done to accommodate their needs. She is wonderful!

Erin is someone that personally and professionally I strive to be like. She is personable, welcoming, approachable, and considerate of all experiences. She is a strong believer in meeting people where they are at and helping support in an individualistic manner that addresses personal experiences. Erin is a funny and bubbly personality. I always feel like my cup is being filled (metaphorically) when I am around her.

Erin was the one I turned to when I found myself struggling. Without hesitation, she listened to my concerns and promptly took action to accommodate my needs. Her commitment to prioritizing my well-being was evident in every interaction. This gesture had a profound impact on my mental health, allowing me to excel in my professional life. When I experienced grief, Erin's first priority was my well-being and taking the time I needed to support my family, reassuring me it was okay. Her empathetic response not only provided much-needed comfort during a difficult time but also allowed me to be present for my loved ones without the added stress of work responsibilities weighing on my mind. She consistently demonstrated patience, understanding, and encouragement, never once making me feel incompetent or burdensome. Under her guidance, I not only survived but thrived. Erin is someone I deeply admire and respect, and I am committed to maintaining a connection with. She is an exceptional leader and mentor. Her unwavering support, empathy, and dedication have made a lasting impact on my life.

Anonymous Student

To me, mental health means considering all the factors that contribute to someone's life and respecting how it might impact people differently. This means everyone has mental health and experiences ups and downs at different times. This to me is the most important thing to understand because once it is understood, it means everyone should be able to talk about mental health (as they do their physical health) and the stigma can be decreased. Everyone has mental health and mental health fluctuates throughout everyone’s lives. Mental health means that although you will have ups and downs, you also have the ability to enjoy the small moments, be mindful, and get through the hard times. That happens when you take care of yourself, you feel supported by your community, and you reach out when you need it.

I support student mental health primarily through my work supervising peers who perform various health outreach on campus. I support my peers with their own mental health and hopefully empower them to support others through their volunteer activities. The approach I take when supporting my students is simply taking the time to listen and believing what they say. I know being a staff member can sometimes create burnout and cynicism, but its important for me to believe the best in people and allow the time and space for them to bring their concerns before they become large problems. I hope to create a culture of openness and acceptance to encourage students to bring issues up before they create large impacts, focusing on the preventative nature of mental health and taking care of ourselves.

There is a quote by Les Brown that says, “Ask for help not because you’re weak, but because you want to remain strong”. 

--- Erin Burns