Queer and Trans Graduate Students Wellness (QTWELL)

Pride flagQTWELL is an open, drop-in group for any graduate student who is a sexual and gender minority or identifies as part of the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities.

The group is facilitated by a counsellor with lived experience in the area and will focus on the many different aspects of wellness.

Topics can organically develop each group in an intentionally supportive space and may include but are not limited to: navigating intersectional Identities, racism, coming out in the workplace or families, mental health, navigating relationships with students, peers and supervisors, internalized homo/bi/transphobia, transgender and non-binary wellness, two-spirit wellness, setting boundaries, substance use, sex and relationships, self-care, self-reflection etc.

Facilitators

Profile photo of Spencer SmallSpencer Small (he/him) I am a happily married gay man and counsellor at the University of Waterloo. I love cooking, hiking, camping and spending time with friends.  I have been working with the 2SLGBTQIA+ community for over 8 years. As a former graduate student, I know just how tough those years can be, trying to balance academics, family dynamics, friendships, intimate relationships, finances, and identity, all the while trying to take care of your wellness – it's A LOT.  I am a Registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW). I hold a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Development Studies and a Master of Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University.

Tyler RipertTyler Riepert (he/him) I am a Registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW). I hold an Honours Degree in Psychology as well as a Master of Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University and have a passion for providing evidence-based care using empathy and compassion. I proudly identify as a member of the LGBTQ2S+ community and have professional experience working with marginalized populations. As a former graduate student myself, I appreciate how difficult it can be to manage academics with your personal life and overall well-being. As such, I want to provide a safe space for 2SLGBTQIA+ students to talk about daily hardships, stories of resiliency and personal success, as well as any other topics that may be on your mind.

Who can join?

This open group, where any graduate student who is a sexual and gender minority or identifies as part of the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities may drop in for good conversation and support to promote student wellness.

When do we meet?

The group meets virtually on Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and in person on Thursdays from 1:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m. on the dates below.  If the group is cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances, participants will be notified ahead of time and can attend the next group.

Upcoming dates

  • Wednesday, January 25, 2023, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EST | Microsoft Teams (Virtual)
  • Wednesday, February 8, 2023, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EST | Microsoft Teams (Virtual)
  • Thursday, February 23, 2023, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EST | UW Main (In-person)
  • Wednesday, March 8, 2023, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EST | Microsoft Teams (Virtual)
  • Thursday, March 23, 2023, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EST | UW Main (In-person)
  • Wednesday, April 5, 2023, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EST | Microsoft Teams (Virtual)
  • Thursday, April 20, 2023, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. | UW Main (In-person)

Registration

If you're interested in attending, please register by emailing both group facilitators, Spencer Small (ssmall@uwaterloo.ca) and Tyler Riepert (triepert@uwaterloo.ca). Microsoft Team links and meeting location details (for in-person workshops) will be shared upon registration. In-person workshops will be held on the University of Waterloo's main campus.