Education Leaders Tackle Burnout and Mental Health Crisis among Teachers

Imad’s presentation on burnout in higher education emphasized the need for a culture shift in the way institutions approach this issue. He invited participants to explore potential solutions and encouraged them to create “resilient spaces” where students and colleagues from historically underserved and marginalized backgrounds can gain the necessary skills, resources, and support to navigate challenges they face.

Imad paused several times during his presentation to ask attendees to discuss concepts like intergenerational trauma and reparative humanism at their tables. These discussions focused on how these ideas can be implemented in their work to address historical injustices and systemic oppression.

After each small group discussion, volunteers were asked to share their takeaways with the entire room. Among the ideas presented were ways to better help students navigate campus resources, challenging entrenched inequalities in higher education, and examining unspoken “agreements” that may be harmful.

Ultimately, participants left feeling empowered to make their courses more “burnout-proof.” They were encouraged to check in with students about their feelings about the course and willingness to make adjustments, including reducing content if necessary, while still meeting learning objectives. As Imad said, “You can think of resilience as the opposite of burnout. Resilience is our ability to bounce back when we experience adversity or trauma. It’s really important to keep in mind that resilience is not one-size-fits-all.”

Future sessions will occur during Winter and Spring Quarters. Information about registration for future events will be posted on the Equity in Mental Health series website as details are finalized.

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