Online mental health resource aims to get more feet on the ground for students
Originally posted: February 25, 2022
The pandemic has been difficult for students, especially with remote learning interrupting their social connections. For some students, these changes have challenged their mental health.
In response, MITT is taking a leading role in implementing a free mental health literacy program for its students. It’s called More Feet on the Ground and MITT is the first post-secondary institution in Manitoba to offer the online training.
The free online mental health resource teaches students how to support classmates who may be facing mental health challenges. The program consists of a live online workshop that teaches students how to recognize, respond and refer someone who is experiencing mental health issues on campus. It also includes breakout/group discussions. Students who complete the content and live workshop receive a certificate. More Feet on the Ground teaches students how to:
- Recognize signs that someone may be experiencing mental health concerns.
- Respond appropriately to someone who needs support (based on your relationship with them and the signs present.)
- Refer someone to mental health supports and services in an appropriate way.
- Reflect after interacting with someone who may be distressed or upset.
According to Delvinder Zamir, student life coordinator at MITT, the training empowers students with a valuable set of skills they can use in their own lives and in the workplace after graduation. Zamir remarks, "There are moments when a student may encounter someone experiencing mental health issues and not know how to respond appropriately. This training helps empower them to recognize when someone is dealing with a mental health issue, respond appropriately and refer them to someone for mental health support."
Students like Harwinder Kaur, a student in the Post Graduate Diploma program in Human Resources Learning and Development credits the course with making a positive impact on her life. Kaur emphasizes, "I dealt with homesickness and mental stress when I moved from India to Canada as an international student. This training has been very helpful. It’s helped me to understand positive mental health, how to recognize the signs if any of my friends are facing mental stress and has given me the tools to respond appropriately to someone who needs support."
Kayla Hoskins, Accessibility Student Advisor at MITT and a facilitator of the More Feet on the Ground workshop says the workshop provides a safe space for students to discuss mental health. Hoskins remarks, "This workshop brings together a diverse set of students, who have varying ideas and experiences around mental health and how they share their feelings with others. Some of these students, have never spoken openly with others about mental health. I think the reason More Feet on the Ground is so impactful is because it brings students together, provides a safe space to discuss their understanding of mental health and stigma, and gives them a common language to share, discuss and understand these difficult topics."
Melanie Leslie, a social worker/counsellor at MITT has experienced how the training has helped dispel the stigma of mental health issues. Leslie emphasizes, "Mental health issues are not a sign of weakness that should be silenced. It’s ok to not feel ok sometimes." Leslie adds, "Through the More Feet on the Ground program we are striving to engage in positive conversations around mental health and how we can all work together to talk openly and sensitively around mental health."
Training sessions for More Feet on the Ground will be taking place as follows:
Wednesday, March 16, 2022 - 3:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 23, 2022 - 3:30 p.m.
Click here to register for More Feet on the Ground training,