Becoming a Go-To Educator:

St. Mary’s University participates in Mental Health Literacy project

Staff and faculty of St. Mary’s University have taken steps forward to improve their mental health literacy to better help their students through training with the Mental Health Literacy project. St. Mary’s is the first post-secondary institution to participate in the project and have moved forward towards becoming “Go-To Educators” who are available for students to turn to in a time of need.

This one-day training session educated attendees to better identify students with mental health disorders and how to respond. The session addressed the importance of maintaining mental wellness and featured a stigma reduction component.

“Mental health is a major part of our overall wellness strategy,” said Bob Hann, Vice President Student Services at St. Mary’s University. “This training session for faculty and staff is designed to increase our capacity for understanding and responding to student mental health concerns, issues and illnesses.”

Since its launch in 2013, the Mental Health Literacy project has strived to increase understanding and reduce the stigma of Mental Health with students and educators by providing resources and training for school staff. To date, the project has trained over 300 school/staff professionals in the identification and referral of common mental health disorders in students, and St. Mary’s is proud to be counted among this number.

St. Mary’s prides itself on being a safe and inclusive place for all and participation in the Mental Health Literacy project underlies this core value according to Hann.

“Participation in this training will help us provide a more open, inclusive and safe place for students to talk about mental health and to receive support for mental illnesses,” said Hann. “This aligns with our focus on the whole person – mind, body, and spirit.”

“This is what makes St. Mary’s University such a special and inclusive space. We are committed to providing all students with the support they need to reach their full potential and to become active and engaged citizens.”