The Department of Drama and Speech Communication will host a symposium of invited experts to speak about mental health issues and awareness at the University of Waterloo and in the broader Waterloo region. Refreshments will be served.
Schedule of Events:
- Welcome by Jennifer Simpson (Chair, Department of Drama and Speech Communication)
- Introduction to the project by Andy Houston (Associate Professor, Department of Drama and Speech Communication)
- Introduction to the event by Adam Lemieux & MadelineSamms (Student Engagement Team members)
- Background: How we understand and address mental health through different perspectives by Colleen McMillan, Jasime Saleh & Brianne Haydon
- Discussion about Specific challenges within the uWaterloo context by Michelle Kestle & Katie Stewart
- Discussion of uWaterloo and Waterloo Region resources by Tom Ruttan & Kelly Conlan
- Question & Answer period
Colleen McMillan - Having worked in the health field for the past 28 years, Colleen’s clinical, teaching and research interests include the genderization of health, photo voice as a methodology in the context of illness, interprofessional education and participatory action research with marginalized populations. Her research and teaching methods are framed by Relational Cultural Theory which emphasizes the value of connection and reciprocity.
Shawna Percy - Shawna is the published author of Breathe: a true story about marriage, faith, and attempted suicide. She is also the blogger forGoodGriefGuru.com, passionate public speaker with a compelling story to share, and advocate. Shawna has shared her personal story on TV and radio interviews, in front of live audiences at conferences, universities, and churches. To learn more about the work Shawna is doing please visit ShawnaPercy.com
Tom Ruttan - Tom is a clinical psychologist and the Director of Counselling Services at the University of Waterloo. In addition to administrative responsibilities, he has the privilege of providing treatment for students, faculty and staff struggling with issues of trauma, suicidal ideation, self-harm, depression and anxiety.
Michelle Ashburner - Michelle currently works at the University of Waterloo as an Advisor and Learning Strategist, as well as a part-time Instructor. She has served countless students with mental health concerns that impact daily life and academic progress. With this inside look into campus life here at uWaterloo, Michelle can offer empathy and a bit of insight into how academic expectations can lead to an unhealthy view of self-worth…and what one can do about it.
Madeline Samms - Madeline Samms is in her 3rd year studying Joint Honours Fine Arts Studio and Drama. She is constantly looking for new and exciting ways to combine her passions. Through open conversation and the engagement space she hopes your ideas about mental illness are challenged.
Katie Stewart - A University of Waterloo Drama student in her fifth and final year; she has been head of Lighting, Publicity, and Sound for different productions held at the university. She joined the S2S Engagement space hoping to reveal what the students with a mental health disability at the university struggle with. She has visions that this is a step to improving our schools and to raise a better understanding for everyone about mental illness.
Jasmine Saleh - Jasmine Saleh is a fourth year Social Development and Gerontology student at the University of Waterloo. In the area of mental health, Jasmine has had the opportunity to work directly with children, adults, and older adults who have been impacted by mental health challenges. Jasmine has also explored issues related to mental health with students, families, and within the health care system through her academic work. Jasmine’s strong interest in the areas of social work and mental health has led her to pursue further education in this field.
Brianne Haydon - Brianne Haydon is a fourth year Social Development Studies major and Drama minor. She is excited for the opportunity to combine her passions of drama and working with people in this project. Her past work with people with different abilities has given her a strong interest in the inclusion and recognition of all individuals, despite differences. She hopes that our symposium will begin to open up dialogue about mental health, and that the engagement space will begin to provide a “Small Act of Repair” towards difficulties with mental health.