Queens University has really led the charge in Canada to address mental health and mental illness on campus and this story is just one more small initiative they are trying. I have long wondered how I or one of my colleagues would handle a dire situation. In my 10+ years as a university professor I have had conversations with students and suggested they take advantage of certain resources provided to students. I know that even taking the time to listen to students talk about their lives outside of the classroom is important. Sure its messy and lots of professors will avoid it, but let’s not forget that students are people and they have real problems, real issues, and a real life beyond the class. Quite honestly those outside issues commonly trump anything we are discussing inside the class and really cannot be ignored. I’m not suggesting that I have the answers but I do have the capacity to listen. And honestly, every single professor and teacher out there should take the time to listen to our students.
That’s why I think this green folder idea is pretty cool. A quick source to identify a number of resources to turn to when the conversation goes somewhere beyond what I can handle. Every campus has experts on campus, let’s get those advertised and widely known. I’d be happy to point students the right direction. Only after listening to them of course!