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Summer Wellness Series

During the summer months, find support and community through wellness webinars, presented by the Taylor Institute and the Campus Mental Health Strategy. This year’s speakers will focus on burnout, something increasingly experienced in the last few years.

Focused on topics for educators, registration is free and the campus community is invited to attend. 

Past webinars (2023)

Facilitator: Dr. Sharon Grossman, PhD

This online workshop is designed for UCalgary educators who are struggling with burnout due to workload and workplace incivilities. Through online interactive activities and group discussions, participants will learn practical strategies to manage workload and navigate workplace incivilities, enabling them to thrive in their professional and personal lives. 

By the end of this online workshop, participants will have a better understanding of burnout and its causes. Participants will leave the online workshop with a personalized action plan for implementing the strategies they have learned.

Learning outcomes:

  • Learn strategies for prioritizing tasks and managing time effectively to reduce workload and prevent burnout. 
  • Learn self-care practices and stress-management techniques to build resilience and enhance mental wellness.  
  • Create an action plan that includes one or two strategies they will implement to manage workload, navigate workplace incivilities or enhance mental wellness.  

Full title: "Burnout: What To Do When You’re Overwhelmed and Exhausted About Everything You Have to Do and Still Worry That You’re Not Doing Enough"

Wellness is not a state of mind, but a state of action. It is the freedom to move through the innate cycles and oscillations of being human — from effort to rest and back, from connection to autonomy and back, from adventure to homecoming and back.

Learning outcomes: 

  • Identify and recognize the signs of burnout. 
  • Explore practical skills in coping and recovering from burnout, as well as protecting against it. 
  • Explore the concept of the stress cycle and how it relates to burn out and burnout recovery. 
  • Amelia Nagoski holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in conducting from the University of Connecticut. Her job is to “run around waving her arms and making funny noises and generally doing whatever it takes to help singers get in touch with their internal experience.” She lives in New England with her husband, one cat and two rescue dogs. 

Facilitator: Dr. Amelia Nagoski, DMA

Past webinars (2022)

In this session, the deans of the Faculty of Nursing, Werklund School of Education and Schulich School of Engineering will discuss how they have worked to intentionally embed well-being into their workplace culture, policies, programs and practices. They will openly discuss the challenges, barriers and resistance they have faced and worked to overcome, and also explore how to re-engage a scholarly community disrupted by COVID-19.

Learning outcomes:

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Examine and critique well-being practices in various academic cultures
  • Explore individual roles in contributing to the collective responsibility of well-being for students, staff, faculty and postdoctoral scholars
  • Identify one practice you can action to contribute to strengthen a culture of well-being, from varying organizational levels

Facilitator: Presenters: Dr. Sandra Davidson, PhD; Dr. Dianne Gereluk, PhD; and Dr. Bill Rosehart, PhD

This session explores the potential relationship between well-being and assessment practices, reflecting on the primary role assessing student academic performance plays within the lives of students and course instructors.

Learning outcomes:

  • Reflect on the potential impact of assessment decisions on course instructors’ well-being
  • Articulate how assessment practices may enhance or hinder student well-being
  • Apply an ethics-of-care framework to how we engage in assessment processes and practices

Facilitators: Roxanne Ross, director, Student Success Centre

Past webinars (2021)

Facilitator: Dr. Yuen-ying Carpenter, PhD

Living under a sustained global pandemic has affected us in diverse and sometimes traumatizing ways. Yet, we cannot simply leave past trauma and present-day stressors 'at the door' when we arrive on campus. Instead, we must recognize ways in which our practices support or impede resilience in our learning and working spaces. This session explores how a 'trauma-informed' approach supports students and educators both during and post-pandemic.

Learning outcomes:  

  • Articulate how both stress and trauma responses may affect learning and work
  • Distinguish between saviourism and stewardship when describing relationships between individual and community well-being
  • Apply Venet’s four-priorities model to identify opportunities for trauma-informed practices in our classrooms and broader campus spaces
  • Explain connections between equity and trauma-informed practices in higher education spaces

Facilitator: Dr. Malinda Smith, PhD, and invited panelists: Kome Odoko, Dr. Bukola Salami, PhD, and Dr. Gregor Wolbring, PhD

This webinar will explore the challenges in mental health on post-secondary campuses related to equity, diversity, and inclusion. Dr. Smith, vice-provost of UCalgary’s EDI office and invited panelists will present and discuss research, strategies, and practices in this space, as well as highlight opportunities, and bring forward recommendations. A Q&A with webinar participants will follow.

Learning outcomes:

  • Explore intersectionality as it relates to equity, diversity, inclusion and mental health and well-being in a postsecondary context
  • Explore and discuss the impacts of COVID-19 through the lens of EDI, mental health and well-being in a postsecondary context
  • Understand culturally relevant mental health services and any current barriers to receiving services

Facilitator: Dr. Keith Dobson, PhD

This webinar will explore the current challenges related to mental health on postsecondary campuses in the context of COVID-19. Drawing on his clinical expertise and research evidence-base, Dr. Dobson will engage in thoughtful discussion of how we can support ourselves and our community as we enter a new academic year. He will also identify and discuss navigation of community and campus mental health resources. Finally, Dr. Dobson will answer questions related to mental health and wellbeing within the context of COVID-19 from webinar participants.

Learning outcomes:

  • Summarize any learnings since the beginning of the pandemic in terms of mental health
  • Understand the mental health issues that might arise as we return to campus
  • Identify with participants how to incorporate self-care strategies, and find campus and community resources to support mental health
  • Discuss how we can support loved ones and our communities that have been isolated, or otherwise in distress over the past year and a half

Past webinars (2020)

Facilitated by: Dr. Glory Ovie, PhD

We have all been impacted by COVID-19 pandemic and our anxiety and stress levels increased. We are teaching, learning and working remotely from home with our daily routines and lives disrupted. It is important to manage our disrupted lives by practicing self-care to enhance our well-being. Self-care is a deliberate action taken in order to enhance our mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health. Self-care manages stress and paves the way for kind, compassionate engagement with the world around you. This webinar aims to discuss different strategies for self-care and have participants develop a personalized self-care plan.

Learning outcomes:

  • Explore the importance of self-care and crisis response
  • Practice some evidence-based strategies for self-care that can enhance their well-being
  • Develop a self-care plan

Facilitated by: Dr. Jennifer Thannhauser, PhD

It is inevitable that we will all experience adversity at some point in our lives. COVID-19 is a shared adversity that we are all learning to navigate. We will discover how resiliency refers to our capacity to adapt or bounce back in the face of such adversity. Resiliency also captures a community’s capacity to provide the appropriate supports and resources to community members that help them successfully navigate through difficult times. The intention of this webinar is to provide participants intentional time to reflect on their own resilience and develop a personalized plan for enhancing one’s resilience.

Learning outcomes:

  • Explore several personal and social factors associated with resiliency
  • Practice evidence-based strategies to enhance personal resiliency
  • Engage in self-reflection activities and apply the concepts discussed 

Facilitated by: Dr. Jacqueline Smith, PhD

Stress and struggles are inevitable and often manageable. However, what about those days when you feel rattled, anxious and unbalanced? We will explore principles of emotional regulation that enhance our ability to successfully handle life’s stressors and adapt to change and difficult times. A general sense of well-being can be realized in the physical, social, occupational, spiritual, financial, and environmental aspects of our lives. This session will increase awareness of how to maintain a sense of emotional wellness and contentment through intentional daily practices, relaxation techniques, resilience skills and lifestyle modifications.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify four principles associated with emotional wellness
  • List four practices that support emotional regulation
  • Understand how neuroplasticity can create new pathways in our brain

Facilitator: Dr. Linda Carlson, PhD

In this webinar, Dr. Linda Carlson (professor in the Faculty of Medicine and co-author of The Art and Science of Mindfulness) will discuss the ways in which mindfulness can be used as a coping strategy to help reduce stress as we work through the COVID-19 pandemic. She will define mindfulness, give research-based examples of how it can reduce stress and change your brain, and guide you through several mindfulness practices that can be beneficial in your everyday professional and personal lives, and especially during times of crisis. 

Learning Outcomes:

  • Gain an introductory understanding of the roots, definition and benefits of mindfulness
  • Utilize practical skills in cultivating present moment awareness to build resilience, compassion, and empathy
  • Discover several mindfulness-based applications to use at work and at home for personal wellbeing