Faculty of Education

Faculty of Education
Faculty of Education

Education Students’ Mental Health Initiative (ESMHI)

The Education Students’ Mental Health Initiative (ESMHI) was established in February 2015 by a community of students 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.

Over the last 2 years, we have unrolled this new intiative through various activities such as workshops, speaker series, and wellness events. This year (2017-18) we will continue to invite members of the community for their input and participation. 

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 Events (2017-18) 

First Meeting (2017-2018) Announcement!

On behalf of ESMHI, welcome to all of our incoming and returning students! We hope that this has been a great (and not too stressful) week for you all so far!

ESMHI will be holding its very first meeting for this academic year next week. 

Date: Tuesday, September 12 from 11 am to 12 pm

Location: Teaching Resource Study Room (turn left after entering the Education library)

What’s involved: Just bring yourself to learn more about our initiative and share your ideas with us! Snacks will be provided!

It would be lovely to see you there. If you can't come to the meeting but are interested in being involved in some way this year, please send us an email (esmhi@queensu.ca) and we will keep you posted. 

Past Speakers and Wellness Events
  • 2nd Annual Revive and Thrive (April 24, 2017): educ.queensu.ca/revive-thrive
  • Bell Let’s Talk Day (January 25, 2017): Show your support in ending mental health stigma by wearing blue and white and join the conversation #BellLetsTalk.
  • Holiday Cards for Faculty and Staff (December 2016)
  • Holiday Warm-Up (Building Futures, December 7, 2016): Providing nourishment break (home-based cookies and decorating, hot chocolate), variety of wellness activities, awareness of ESMHI, promoting community to B.Ed. Candidates,
  • West Campus Wellness Day (April 20, 2016): Come participate in various wellness activities held in various places around Duncan McArthur.
  • Movie and Panel discussion on Bullying (February 3, 2016): Watched the movie “Bully” and invited educators, mental health experts, and administrators in education to participate in Q&A and roundtable discussion.
  • Bell Let’s Talk Day (January 27, 2016)
  • 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.

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

Mental Health Workshops & Certificate

The Faculty of Education offers three workshops through courses in the concurrent and consecutive education students that align with the three overarching goals of the ESMHI. ESMHI members have been involved with leading and supporting these workshops. 

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) and has been generously supported by the Faculty of Education Dean’s Office, School of Graduate Studies, and Graduate Studies and Research Office. 

Core Members

​Faculty Advisor

Past Members

We have had an enormous amount of support from our greater Faculty of Education community including past cohorts in the Bachelor of Education and Graduate Programs in Education. If we have missed your name, please let us know!

Funding and Sponsors

  •  Faculty of Education Dean’s Office
  • The Rosa Baier and Luis Bruno Award, Faculty of Education (Awarded 2015-2016)
  • The Principal’s Student Initiatives Fund, Dr. Daniel R. Woolf, Office of the Principal and Vice-Chancellor (Awarded 2015-2016)
  • The Student Initiative Fund, Division of Student Affairs, Office of the Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs (Awarded 2015-2016)
  • Education Graduate Students Society 

Contact Us

Education Students’ Mental Health Initiative


Mental Health Initiative