Emerging data suggests that students will return to campus this fall with increased academic stress and emotional exhaustion as the pandemic continues. Mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression have been heightening during the pandemic, continuing a troubling trend of declining student mental well-being.
Teaching Assistants (TAs) play an integral role in strengthening the University’s teaching mission and in promoting resilience in undergraduate and graduate students. Mental health support for all students is of essential importance to the University, to build towards an academic environment where everyone can thrive. Earlier this week, an exciting new pilot launched in the Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Mathematics to further enhance the mental health resources available for TAs.
“TAs are often the first point of contact for our students in undergraduate courses”, says Director of GSPA, Marianne Simm. “Ensuring our TAs have the training to respond to student concerns and understand referral sources both on and off campus is a key element of the Supporting Student Health training module”.
Graduate students who are working as Teaching Assistants (TAs) in each of the two faculties are now being encouraged to participate in an asynchronous module on mental health training for TAs.
Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA) is pleased to partner with the Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE) and the Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Mathematics to introduce this TA mental health training pilot for the fall 2021 term, and to evolve the mental health module through feedback obtained during the pilot.
Training is available to graduate students in other faculties; additional details can be found on the Mental health training for Teaching Assistants webpage.