Summer Wellness Series

During the summer months, the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning and the Campus Mental Health Strategy present a series of wellness webinars featuring UCalgary experts. Three sessions from June – August offer insights and discussion on pertinent themes in mental health in teaching and learning, incorporating practical mental health support in each session.  

Trauma-Informed Teaching and Learning Practices Post-COVID

Living under a sustained global pandemic has affected us in diverse and sometimes traumatizing ways. Yet, we cannot simply leave past trauma and present-day stressors 'at the door' when we arrive on campus. Instead, we must recognize ways in which our practices support or impede resilience in our learning and working spaces. This session explores how a 'trauma-informed' approach supports students and educators both during and post-pandemic.

Learning outcomes:  

  • Articulate how both stress and trauma responses may affect learning and work
  • Distinguish between saviourism and stewardship when describing relationships between individual and community well-being
  • Apply Venet’s four-priorities model to identify opportunities for trauma-informed practices in our classrooms and broader campus spaces
  • Explain connections between equity and trauma-informed practices in higher education spaces

Facilitator: Dr. Yuen-ying Carpenter, PhD
Date: Thursday, June 17, 2021
Time: 10:45 a.m. – 12 p.m.   (75 minutes)

Diversity in Mental Health on Post-Secondary Campuses

This webinar will explore the challenges in mental health on post-secondary campuses related to equity, diversity, and inclusion. Dr. Smith, vice-provost of UCalgary’s EDI office and invited panelists will present and discuss research, strategies, and practices in this space, as well as highlight opportunities, and bring forward recommendations. A Q&A with webinar participants will follow.

Learning outcomes:

  • Explore intersectionality as it relates to equity, diversity, inclusion and mental health and well-being in a postsecondary context
  • Explore and discuss the impacts of COVID-19 through the lens of EDI, mental health and well-being in a postsecondary context
  • Understand culturally relevant mental health services and any current barriers to receiving services

Facilitator: Dr. Malinda Smith, PhD, and invited panelists: Kome Odoko, Dr. Bukola Salami, PhD, and Dr. Gregor Wolbring, PhD
Date: Thursday, July 15, 2021
Time: 10:45 a.m. - 12 p.m. (75 minutes)

Mental Health Check-In: Gearing Up for a New Academic Year

This webinar will explore the current challenges related to mental health on postsecondary campuses in the context of COVID-19. Drawing on his clinical expertise and research evidence-base, Dr. Dobson will engage in thoughtful discussion of how we can support ourselves and our community as we enter a new academic year. He will also identify and discuss navigation of community and campus mental health resources. Finally, Dr. Dobson will answer questions related to mental health and wellbeing within the context of COVID-19 from webinar participants.

Learning outcomes:

  • Summarize any learnings since the beginning of the pandemic in terms of mental health
  • Understand the mental health issues that might arise as we return to campus
  • Identify with participants how to incorporate self-care strategies, and find campus and community resources to support mental health
  • Discuss how we can support loved ones and our communities that have been isolated, or otherwise in distress over the past year and a half

Facilitators: Dr. Keith Dobson, PhD
Date: Thursday, August 19, 2021
Time: 10:45 a.m. - 12 p.m. (75 minutes)

Want to ask a question? Please submit your questions here in advance of the session.

Past webinars (2020)

Facilitated by: Dr. Glory Ovie, PhD

We have all been impacted by COVID-19 pandemic and our anxiety and stress levels increased. We are teaching, learning and working remotely from home with our daily routines and lives disrupted. It is important to manage our disrupted lives by practicing self-care to enhance our well-being. Self-care is a deliberate action taken in order to enhance our mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health. Self-care manages stress and paves the way for kind, compassionate engagement with the world around you. This webinar aims to discuss different strategies for self-care and have participants develop a personalized self-care plan.

Learning outcomes:

  • Explore the importance of self-care and crisis response
  • Practice some evidence-based strategies for self-care that can enhance their well-being
  • Develop a self-care plan

Facilitated by: Dr. Jennifer Thannhauser, PhD

It is inevitable that we will all experience adversity at some point in our lives. COVID-19 is a shared adversity that we are all learning to navigate. We will discover how resiliency refers to our capacity to adapt or bounce back in the face of such adversity. Resiliency also captures a community’s capacity to provide the appropriate supports and resources to community members that help them successfully navigate through difficult times. The intention of this webinar is to provide participants intentional time to reflect on their own resilience and develop a personalized plan for enhancing one’s resilience.

Learning outcomes:

  • Explore several personal and social factors associated with resiliency
  • Practice evidence-based strategies to enhance personal resiliency
  • Engage in self-reflection activities and apply the concepts discussed 

Facilitated by: Dr. Jacqueline Smith, PhD

Stress and struggles are inevitable and often manageable. However, what about those days when you feel rattled, anxious and unbalanced? We will explore principles of emotional regulation that enhance our ability to successfully handle life’s stressors and adapt to change and difficult times. A general sense of well-being can be realized in the physical, social, occupational, spiritual, financial, and environmental aspects of our lives. This session will increase awareness of how to maintain a sense of emotional wellness and contentment through intentional daily practices, relaxation techniques, resilience skills and lifestyle modifications.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify four principles associated with emotional wellness
  • List four practices that support emotional regulation
  • Understand how neuroplasticity can create new pathways in our brain

Facilitator: Dr. Linda Carlson, PhD

In this webinar, Dr. Linda Carlson (professor in the Faculty of Medicine and co-author of The Art and Science of Mindfulness) will discuss the ways in which mindfulness can be used as a coping strategy to help reduce stress as we work through the COVID-19 pandemic. She will define mindfulness, give research-based examples of how it can reduce stress and change your brain, and guide you through several mindfulness practices that can be beneficial in your everyday professional and personal lives, and especially during times of crisis. 

Learning Outcomes:

  • Gain an introductory understanding of the roots, definition and benefits of mindfulness
  • Utilize practical skills in cultivating present moment awareness to build resilience, compassion, and empathy
  • Discover several mindfulness-based applications to use at work and at home for personal wellbeing