Faculty of Education

Faculty of Education
Faculty of Education

Education Students’ Mental Health Initiative (ESMHI)

The Education Students’ Mental Health Initiative (ESMHI) is a new undertaking within the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University.

This initiative aims to support the mental health and well-being of all Faculty of Education students, with the overall objective of enabling and assisting students in supporting themselves and others.

This initiative is guided by three overarching goals:

  1. promote health and well-being;
  2. build capacity and mental health literacy;
  3. provide resources and support.

Powered by students at the graduate and undergraduate level, and supported by faculty and staff allies, this initiative hopes to enable education students with the resources, skills, and tools necessary to foster and maintain healthy academic, personal, and professional lives.

This school year (2015-2016), we are excited to unroll this new initiative through various activities, such as workshops, speaker series, and wellness events.

If you are interested in supporting or joining this important initiative, please contact esmhi@queensu.ca or speak with one of our core members.

Upcoming Speakers and Wellness Events

  • Bell Let’s Talk Day (January 27, 2016): Show your support in ending mental health stigma by wearing blue and white and join the conversation #BellLetsTalk.
  • Speaker Event (February 3, 2016): Stay tuned for more information.
  • West Campus Wellness Day (April 20, 2016): Come participate in various wellness activities held in various places around Duncan McArthur.

If you are interested in organizing a student-initiated wellness activity and would like our support, please contact us at esmhi@queensu.ca.

Past Events

  • CONNECT-ED Resource Fair (September 30, 2015): West campus resource fair to connect students with campus and community resources and support their transition to Duncan McArthur. Event included a number of west campus and main campus resources as well as wellness activities, and information session regarding the ESMHI’s upcoming events.

Mental Health Workshops & Certificate

This year, Sarah Horford (Personal Counsellor, Faculty of Education) will be offering three workshops. These workshops are supported by the Faculty of Education and align with the three overarching goals of the ESMHI.

For more information about the workshops, please contact Sarah at educ.counsellor@queensu.ca.

Workshop Descriptions

Part 1 - Personal Wellness: Resilience and Adapting to Life’s Transitions

This workshop focuses primarily on using existing skills to navigate new challenges, and anticipating how change can create stress. Recognizing how to adapt to every day stress by engaging in self-care activities. Tips and tricks are identified that can be used with self or in use with student behavioural challenges in the classroom. Key component is to identify wellness/illness along a continuum within oneself so they can acknowledge challenges of their future students. Approach allows for conversation in reducing stigma.

Part 2 - Mental Health in the Classroom: Identifying students in distress, How to navigate student mental issues and Refer appropriately

This workshop focuses on role as educator as playing a key role in determining if a child is struggling. The focus of this session is NOT to make an educator into a counsellor but rather to know their boundaries of when/how to make appropriate referrals. Teacher candidates will learn to identify distress based off of behavioural cues and will discuss differences in children vs. youth, how to handle distress in the moment and then appropriately refer students, as well as how to report incidents of suspected abuse to Children’s Aid Society. Some case examples will also be outlined for participation and discussion.

Part 3 - Preventing Compassion Fatigue: Self-awareness and Self-care for preventing burnout

This workshop focuses on concepts related to the prevention of occupational stress, burnout and compassion fatigue. Discusses ways to instill a positive working environment and to manage challenging demands in the educator role. Areas of exploration include awareness, balance and connection, 3 of the most effective ways of understanding/managing compassion fatigue. Practical ways to manage specific situations are be included for participation/discussion.

ESMHI Membership

The Education Students’ Mental Health Initiative (ESMHI) has been recognized as a ratified group through the Society of Graduate & Professional Students (SGPS). All students and allies are welcome to join this initiative at any time throughout the school year.

Core Members:

Contact Us

Education Students’ Mental Health Initiative


Mental Health Initiative