Imad’s presentation on burnout in higher education sparked a lively discussion among participants, as he invited them to explore potential solutions to the epidemic that has been affecting institutions across the country. The central theme of the presentation was the concept of creating “resilient spaces” where colleagues and students from historically underserved and marginalized backgrounds can develop the necessary skills, resources, and support to overcome challenges and learn from their experiences.
Imad paused multiple times during his presentation to ask attendees to form small groups at their tables to discuss concepts such as intergenerational trauma and reparative humanism, emphasizing the importance of healing historical harms caused by systemic oppression. After each small group discussion, Imad asked for volunteers who were willing to share their takeaways with the entire room.
Among the ideas brought up were ways to help students navigate campus resources more effectively, challenging entrenched inequalities in higher education, and examining unspoken “agreements” that may be harmful. Ultimately, participants left feeling empowered to make their courses more resilient-proof by checking in with students about their feelings about the course, being willing to make adjustments as necessary while still meeting learning objectives.
Imad emphasized that resilience is not a one-size-fits-all approach and encouraged participants to keep this in mind when implementing solutions. Future sessions will occur in Winter and Spring Quarters, with details about registration posted on the Equity in Mental Health series website as they become available.