Faculty of Science, Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology
The concept of the MHI was conceived by students with the intent of creating an event in which all participants could comfortably discuss mental health concerns that were being experienced in the academic environment. The student leaders sought faculty members to assist in organizing and facilitating discussion focused upon key messages: ‘If you are experiencing stress, you are not alone’; ‘It is okay to talk about mental health’; ‘Let’s get students connected to resources’; ‘Maintaining mental health is as important as maintaining physical health’. The integrated approach (students, staff and faculty) to this event was of particular importance to address stigma and provide a culture of caring, validation and support to students around the topic of mental health and well-being. Two Faculty members from Chemistry & Chemistry Biology Department took the lead in supporting the development and coordination of this event. The student leaders and the Faculty, those that organized and those that attended, are McMaster University Mental Health Champions.