Imad’s presentation on the burnout epidemic in higher education emphasized the need for a culture shift in the way institutions approach mental health. She invited attendees to explore potential solutions to this pressing issue and encouraged them to focus on creating “resilient spaces” that support students and colleagues, especially those from historically underserved backgrounds.
Throughout her presentation, Imad paused to facilitate small group discussions on concepts such as intergenerational trauma and reparative humanism, which emphasizes healing historical harms caused by systemic oppression. The ideas presented during these discussions included finding ways to better help students navigate resources on campus, challenging entrenched inequalities within higher education, and examining unspoken “agreements” that may be harmful.
Ultimately, participants left the event with a collective sense of empowerment to make their courses more “burnout-proof,” by checking in with students about their feelings and being willing to make adjustments if necessary while still meeting learning objectives. According to Imad, resilience is not a one-size-fits-all approach and can vary depending on individual experiences of adversity or trauma.
Future sessions will take place in Winter and Spring Quarters, with information about registration for future events being posted on the Equity in Mental Health series website as details are finalized.