Yellow square with text reading WellU champion

Professors, TAs and staff members play vital roles in supporting and advancing student mental health. The WellU Champions for Mental Health recognizes and celebrates those in the Lakehead community who create supportive learning environments where student mental health is valued and supported. Champions are nominated by those to whom their work matters most, Lakehead students. 

The WellU Champions for Mental Health initiative answers the call for increased mental health promotion in academic and other campus environments and its goal is to encourage and support a culture of well-being that inspires and enables all who live, learn, and work at Lakehead to flourish.

Congrats to our 2024 WellU Champions! 

Thunder Bay Campus

Bonnie McDonald

Education and Gender and Women's Studies

She emailed us with mental health resources. She has an open door policy at the end of class to talk if we need. She acknowledges that the topics we discuss in class are heavy. She invites guest speakers to talk about well-being. She really cares about our well-being and how we feel in class. — Anonymous Student

Mental health is acknowledging and recognizing that life can be rewarding while also challenging. Mental health can change from day to day and can be affected by different situations and environments. It is acknowledging that we do not always think the same or experience life the same as the person next us and therefore we have to exhibit forgiveness and grace.

Although I have a large class, I encourage students to reach out to me if they are experiencing difficulties. I attempt to touch base with students who have indicated they are struggling. I offer alternative deadlines, reach out to student services and am willing to advocate on their behalf (if and when it is appropriate). As an instructor, it is not only my job to ensure success in my course but to promote the love of learning in a supportive environment.

-Bonnie McDonald

Krista McAllister

Student Success Centre

Helping every student she can all of the time, being a supportive “mom” to those of us far away from our parents. -Anonymous Student
[She supports students] based on her own experience and having the love and commitment to understand every specific request from all students. -Anonymous Student

Mental health, to me, means finding balance in your daily life, finding activities and people that fill your cup, and learning how to navigate all the challenges and circumstances that life throws at you. It's also about having support system that will be there to celebrate with you during the good times, but also be there to for you when times get tough (no questions asked).

Through my role at the Student Success Centre, I help students navigate university life and connect them to supports and resources (both on campus and off campus) to help them reach their goals or to get the support they need as quickly as possible. This happens both in person, online, and through the MySupport program intiative that I co-lead (where I'm often triaging complex requests and personal stuggles that students connect with me about). Everyone's needs are as unique as they are and I do my best to approach each student's individual situation in a non-judgmental, supportive way. My team and I have also worked hard to create a safe, comfortable, non-judgmental space, where students can come to relax, study, nap, colour, craft, watch tv, play games, come to talk to us about their day or ask for support. We love working with our amazing students and we do our best to make their time at Lakehead University as stress-free and successful as possible! As Educators and staff, we are often the first people student's reach out to on campus for support. Small gestures can make a big difference in our daily interactions with students. A warm greeting, relaxed body language, and asking how the student's day is going and how you can help can go a long way (especially if they are struggling)!

There is no way around it, university is stressful! It's important for us all to learn about supports available for students (both on campus and off campus). There are many free resources and professional development opportunities available to staff and faculty (and students too!) that help us build our toolkits for supporting each other's mental health. Not sure how to access these, talk with our amazing Student Health & Wellness team!

-Krista McAllister

Mx. Mohit Dudeja


He has demonstrated a proactive approach by integrating various mental health resources directly into the course syllabus. This strategic inclusion has proven to be extremely beneficial, offering students accessible tools and information to navigate their mental health effectively. Personally, I was not aware of resources like WellU Key and Good2Talk until I noticed them in his email signature. Furthermore, his commitment to gathering anonymous feedback on students' comfort and well-being within the course is commendable. This initiative not only reflects an attentiveness to the diverse needs of the student body but also underscores a genuine dedication to creating a supportive learning environment. It's reassuring to know that each piece of feedback received is actively addressed, reinforcing a culture of care within the academic setting. In my experience, he has proven to be an exceptional instructor, not only in the academic realm but also in prioritizing the overall well-being of students. This holistic approach undoubtedly contributes to a positive and inclusive learning atmosphere. I believe that acknowledging and appreciating such efforts is crucial, as it encourages the continued integration of mental health support within the academic environment. Mr. Dudeja’s commitment to student wellbeing is truly noteworthy, and I am grateful for the positive impact it has had on my academic journey. -Anonymous student

Mental health encompasses a broad spectrum of dimensions that collectively contribute to one's overall well-being. It goes beyond the absence of mental illnesses and extends into the realms of emotional resilience, psychological balance, and the capacity to cope with life's challenges. To me, it is about acknowledging and addressing the emotional, cognitive, and social aspects of an individual's life. I see mental health as a state of equilibrium where individuals can navigate the complexities of life with a sense of self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and the ability to form meaningful connections with others. It is about fostering a supportive environment that encourages open conversations, reduces stigma, and promotes access to resources for those in need. As an immigrant in Canada, I witnessed that cultural nuances, varying societal expectations, and different coping mechanisms contribute to the mosaic of mental health experiences.

In my capacity as an instructor, I endeavour to establish an inclusive and compassionate learning environment that appreciates and honours the diverse perspectives and backgrounds of students. I am dedicated to staying attuned to the well-being of my students, which involves being receptive to their concerns, promoting self-care practices, and facilitating discussions about mental health in a manner that respects cultural sensitivities. The goal is to create an atmosphere in which students feel at ease seeking support, both within and beyond the academic realm. Ultimately, mental health is a collective journey, and as an educator, I am committed to fostering a community that recognizes its significance. Through the promotion of understanding, empathy, and the importance of mental well-being, I aspire to contribute to a positive and nurturing academic environment where students can flourish academically and personally. Educators and staff can work together to foster inclusivity and belonging by establishing a supportive academic environment and maintaining a welcoming campus atmosphere. Instructors can be proactive in recognizing signs of distress to identify mental health issues early for timely intervention. An approachable attitude, demonstrated through regular office hours and prompt email responses, encourages students to seek help. Professors and staff should know about campus mental health resources and guide students to utilize them. I referred a couple of students to various mental health resources and student health and wellness, as I identified concerns or they reached out to me. Flexibility is key, acknowledging personal challenges that may affect academic performance, we can create accommodating pedagogies and assessments. Open communication fosters a sense of community, and advocacy for improved mental health policies contributes significantly to the academic community's overall well-being, impacting retention, achievement, and personal development positively.

Student mental health and well-being are my priorities. My goal is to create an enjoyable and engaging learning environment that fosters a positive atmosphere. By incorporating elements of fun into the learning experience, I aim to make education not only informative but also a source of enjoyment for students. I believe in open communication, encouraging students to express their thoughts and concerns freely. Additionally, I actively work to dismantle traditional power dynamics between students and myself, fostering a collaborative and inclusive environment where everyone's perspectives are valued. This approach not only enhances the learning experience but also contributes to a supportive atmosphere that positively impacts the mental health of students.

-Mohit Dudeja

Lori Kapush

Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism

Lori is the administrative assistant for ORPT. She is always sharing stories of her adventures, food, and a zest for life. During my time in ORPT, she has organized holiday get-togethers to support the ORPT community. She goes out of her way to ensure the well-being of all students in the program, regardless of situation. This includes referrals to outside supports, words of encouragement, and attending to crisis situations as they arise. She always does this from a compassionate and caring place, creating a space in which students feel respected and supported. You can always see her lighting up ORPT with her huge smile, passion to make a difference, and with a joke or three up her sleeve. - Anonymous student 

Lori puts a smile on everyone’s face with her kindness, humour, and snacks. She makes everyone feel welcome and like they are part of a tight community. Live, laugh, Lori. -Anonymous student

[She is] is a shining light in our program and is always there for students and faculty. Honestly is a motherly figure in our department and takes care of everyone like they are family. Has healthy (and a variety of seasonal treats) snacks for everyone if they are financially unable to buy, also if the school day is too busy to go and pick up lunch, or just as a snack. She also is always there to have a chat about program/university questions (and if she doesn't have an answer, she will work to find one) or even just life and personal struggles. She is also super interested in learning about our classes and even borrows textbooks after we are finished with them to learn about what we are studying to both further her personal understanding and to know how to support us better. Lori is a shining light and makes the rec office (and the hall in general) a warmer and increasingly welcoming place for all to feel safe and comfortable to be authentically themselves, no matter what is going on in their lives, Lori is there to chat, listen, give a hug, or help us get further support (eg. student health and wellness). -Anonymous Student

Lori has an extremely positive attitude and fosters a welcoming environment within her office and the program. She is always happy to interact with students in ways such as: supporting, listening, and being excited about students accomplishments (no matter the size). Lori always has snacks in her office to fuel students so that we are able to do our best work. She keeps students work displayed in her office to show us that she is proud of our work. Students are always happy to see her and invite her to their presentations or events because they know she will be their to be supportive. -Anonymous student

Mental health is health. People need to know that those of us who struggle with this, quite often do so on a daily basis.  We are not lazy, self-centered, boring or anti-social.  We are healing ourselves the only way we know how; through rest and honouring how we feel at a given moment.

I love it when the students pop into my office. I get the chance to see how they are doing and find out what they need help with and sometimes have a snack or two on hand to help get them through the day.

-Lori Kapush

Leigh Potvin

Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism

Checking in even when I’m not her student, sending resources, being a supportive adult -Anonymous Student

As an educator, I believe that I teach students first. What I mean by that is that I am not just teaching the content of my course, I'm teaching people and those people bring with them a variety of experiences, health considerations, learning styles, and intersectionalities. So, I want to meet students where they are and support them in whatever they need: some days it's an intellectual challenge and other days it means feeling a sense of warmth and community in the classroom. It is hard to teach and learn unless folks feel like they can be themselves - in all their ways - in a learning environment.

Take your medication, drink water, support yourself and your classmates, check in with your mental health care team regularly.

-Leigh Potvin


Student Accessibility Services

[She is] extremely supportive, understanding and helpful. -Anonymous Student

"Mental health" exists for everybody; we will all experience times in our life when the state of our mental health will fluctuate. For some people this might be short term fluctuations or relate to situational concerns, for others there may be a diagnosed mental health condition.

I listen, I validate that mental health concerns are very real, I encourage seeking professional support when every day life is being impacted. Educators and staff need to be in tune to when students are stating that they are having mental health problems;please listen, have compassion and flexibility related to academic responsibilities and refer students to the appropriate support services on campus.

Nobody wakes up and thinks "Yay, I get to deal with my mental health struggles, navigate healthcare and work on building skills and strategies to manage my mental health!" I am consistently in awe of the strength and resilience of students/young adults managing these complex concerns!


Dr. Hao Bai

Mechanical Engineering 

He's always very open to changing assignment submission deadlines... and has been a huge help for me personally. He also constantly cracks jokes... -Anonymous student

Dr. Taryn Klarner


Always advocating for student's needs first, telling us to get enough sleep, exercise, talk to people about how we feel. Always open to hearing our thoughts and opinions ranging from school work, personal things going on in our lives, work etc. Dr Klarner is always ready to lend a helping hand and she truly focuses on us as students and putting us first, making sure we are on the right track to success. She always goes above and beyond to try and accommodate her students as best as possible and it makes going to her classes that much more enjoyable! -Anonymous Student

[Mental health] is having space inside yourself to still be able to cope with the stress of school, work, and life. I allow and encourage students to be humans first.

-Taryn Klarner

Dr. Keira Loukes

Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism

Keira takes time to make sure her students have the space and time to complete assignments, as well she is able to create a safe space for her students to feel as though they can be open and honest about how they are feeling mentally. She is a true educator who allows her students to know that they matter not only as students but as human-beings as well. Keira is the only professor with whom I have felt safe to express my emotions and where I stand mentally. She has always shown empathy towards where her students come from and she is always considerate of what her students want to get out of her classes. She would be a wonderful recipient of this title as she is able to connect with her students in a meaningful and professional manner. Keira has shown grace for other peoples opinions and always finds different ways for her students to succeed within the expectations in her class. Keira is a professor that I look up to and I think she finds good ways to give her students space to understand topics that she is passionate about. -Anonymous student

To me, mental health is a relationship - to yourself and to your community. Like in every relationship, our relationship with our mental and emotional selves, as well as our community, can move in waves - sometimes we feel closer, sometimes we feel further. Sometimes it feels stormy, sometimes it feels calm. It's a lifelong relationship that grows as we get to know ourselves and watch ourselves move through and with the different challenges that will come up in our lives. We also get to learn who our community is by recognizing who we can lean on and rely on as we navigate these difficult times. It is important to recognize though that mental and emotional wellbeing is not an individual effort or problem - we need to give and receive support from our communities. As well, we need our social institutions to recognize the ways that systemic problems make this more difficult for some people than others.

At this point, I think it's most important for educators, staff, and other students to remember that for the most part, we are all just humans trying our best. As an educator, it helps when we can relate to our students' struggles - and if we can't, that we really try to put ourselves in their particular situation. There are students at this school that are facing immense pressures, and that looks different for everyone. We can choose to be a part of a supportive community for that student by giving them a safe place to share their struggles, and remembering that there are many things that are more important than academics. I think when we support and respect our students to make decisions that prioritize their own health and well-being, we shift the culture of the institution (and even broader) because we are also teaching them to do this in their own lives in the future as well. We have an opportunity to show them that prioritizing their own well-being helps them to support their whole community. Another role that we can play as staff is to challenge the idea that mental health is an individual struggle, and instead, look at the ways that institutional cultures perpetuate mental health challenges and that different students experience this differently. For example, a white supremacist, patriarchal, colonial, ableist, and heteronormative culture inherently makes emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being more difficult for some students than others. When we recognize this, we are better able to better support students as we are able to see the roots of their struggles, as well as be a part of advocating for structural and cultural changes that could build a more supportive community overall.

-Keira Loukes

Dr. Mike Campbell


[He] makes it very clear that students can always approach him for help, whether or not they're in his class. Makes it clear that he cares. Encourages mental wellness throughout the semester, especially during exam season. Approachable and kind. Takes an interest in students and gets to know them. - Anonymous Student 

From personal experience I have learned how interconnected mental and physical wellbeing are. The last few with Covid has made the stresses on everyone even greater so it is important that we try and check in on each other see people are doing. I want to see my students do well and if I can help them deal some of the challenges they are facing, hopefully that will make it easier.

I think one of the most important things I can do is remind students they have people that are willing to listen and talking is a great outlet for stress.

The last several years haven't been normal for anyone and students have had it harder than most. If you are having trouble please talk to someone, you might help them out as well.

-Dr. Mike Campbell

Dr. Erin Pearson

School of Kinesiology

[She is] always very approachable, mindful of workloads and promoting a work-life balance, flexible, always providing constructive feedback and acknowledging efforts made, offers a compassionate ear, and has created a positive work environment. - Anonymous Student

To me, mental health is the foundation of a fulfilling life. When we feel well mentally, it translates to all the other areas of who we are. I see practicing self-compassion, life balance, movement, and building resilience as integral parts of this process. "Students have shared that they appreciate my willingness to listen to their concerns, involve them in course-related decisions, and provide flexibility around evaluation deadlines. Connecting them with campus services (e.g., Student Accommodations; Student Health and Wellness) can also be a useful way to support and enhance their well-being.
In line with Lakehead’s endorsement of the Okanagan Charter, I think we all have a responsibility to embed practices that support student mental health and well-being as part of our day-to-day. Providing information on campus services and being flexible on a case-by-case basis when it comes to course deliverables can go a long way toward helping students feel supported.

-Erin Pearson

Isi Medina

Residence Life

Isi is an amazing advocate for mental health, he is always making sure to keep people in the best spirits and will do anything it takes to make sure people are well taken care of in times of need. He is always asking people how they’re doing after a stressful situation and leaving room and time for us to talk to him when needed. If someone is having a mental health crisis, Isi is always there making sure we have support! - Anonymous Student 

To me, mental health is how your mind feels and works, and it impacts every area of your life (academic, professional, social, etc.). Taking care of your mental health is as important as physical health, and it can involve a lot of things such as counselling, self-care activities, and finding healthy coping mechanisms. I think it is really important to talk about it because it affects everyone. Students need to know that they're not alone when they're struggling and that people care and want to help.

I try to support student mental health by offering students a safe space to talk if they need to. Trying to check in when possible, and reminding them that there is help and resources available to them. I think sometimes even just a smile and a "how are you?" can go a long way. I think the most important thing educators and staff can do is help students find the resources they need (or direct them to someone who can), and help fight the stigma by normalizing these discussions about mental health.

Alex Hudyma

Mathematical Sciences

She makes sure that everyone is doing okay in the class and purposely puts up pictures of her animals during exams to make us less stressed. She’s so pure and genuinely cares about her students and even smiles and waves and talks to us in the hallways. -Anonymous student

Our mind is found in our body, so mental health is just another aspect of physical health. This means it requires maintenance to function optimally - whatever that looks like for each person should be incorporated into our daily routines. This also means when its function is in decline, we need to seek treatment from professionals as we would any other ailment. And this means that operating as a whole person, our mental health is just as important as physical health when striving to be "healthy".

I get to teach first year classes, so at the start of the year, I tell my students that they will all fail in University. It could be just one quiz question or an entire course, but it's going to happen because it happens to EVERYONE. And if it happens to everyone, then it's nothing to be ashamed of. Making mistakes is how we learn, and your grades are NOT a representation of your worth as a human being. I also try to have robustness in my grading schemes, including multiple components so that one poor performance doesn't mean the end of the world. And with weekly assignments and/or quizzes, I allow one "drop" so that you can have an awful week and it will not impact your final grade. Educators and staff set the tone for the campus environment. If we're taking ourselves too seriously and not finding the fun and joy in small moments, then we're setting a bad example. We are humans too, with our own struggles, and our own lives outside of school. We need to recognize that not everyone's perfect (as we are not) and when possible, have compassion. I believe it is possible to encourage student prioritization of mental health, while maintaining high standards for learning and meeting deadlines. In fact, a well-rested student who has met their mental needs will fare better at learning material than a stressed-out sleep deprived one. And a light-hearted classroom where it's okay to make mistakes is the best learning environment.

Help is available. School is hard (because working in the real world is also hard). It doesn't get easier, but you get better adapted at handling it.

-Alex Hudyma

Aaliyah Stewart

Residence Life

[She takes an] active role in supporting students' mental well-being after hours and in a “live-in” care capacity. -Anonymous student
Helping students in res and off campus, prioritizing mental health for all, seeking out ways for students to have better mental health. -Anonymous student

Mental health is a passion to me, it means taking care of yourself and having empathy and care for others. It's about doing small things to make other people's lives a bit easier, because they are people who deserve love and kindness, and you never know what they may be going through. It's also extending that same kindness to yourself. It may mean taking a break from doing schoolwork, or reaching out for help.

I support student mental health in my role on residence through educational programming and providing peer support to students living on residence. Educators and staff influence students' mental health and well-being so much by the amount of stress put on students and the support given to students who are struggling. It is our role as staff and educators to educate students on resources available, and to remind them that they are loved, and supported.

Students are struggling with so many things that are affecting their mental health, and we as an institution can always be doing better to make sure we have the resources and supports in place to help those students.

-Aaliyah Stewart 

Joel Symonds

Student Affairs 

[He has] been giving guidance and help through difficult situations. -Anonymous Student

Orillia Campus

Alisia Johnston

Student Accessibility Services

Alisia goes above and beyond her duties to ensure that student have what they need in order to thrive in their classes while ensuring that student with disabilities are receiving an education in which they are being appropriately challenged. On many occasions I have had to go to Alisia for different situations whether it was for health challenges or simply someone to talk to and strategize with. Being in my fourth and final year I don’t think I would have been able to make it through without her support. - Anonymous Student

I support student mental health by listening to what students have to say and by offering strategies that will support them in their life.

Mental health means making time for self-care that includes, yoga, time with friends, being outdoors, and sleeping! Make time to disconnect from your device(s) and get outside to enjoy the beauty around you.

- Alisia Johnston

Ashley McLetchie

Residence Life 

Ashley supports students every day, being an RA. She shows up, accommodates and respects the needs of everyone. She does this with students who live on her floor and every student who walks through the residence doors. She has spent many hours sitting with me while I have panic attacks, personal issues, or just when I need a friend. She encourages participation, checks in regularly with us, and overall creates a positive environment for everyone. When one of my friends had self-esteem issues, Ashley helped build her back up. In the case where Ashley can't handle a situation, she knows who to direct you to, get you in contact with, and sticks with you the entire way. She has helped me get in contact with accessibility services for academic issues, the school counsellor for personal problems and even the HRE department for well-being concerns. Ultimately, Ashley works harder than most to ensure that the people living in residence feel seen, heard and supported. - Anonymous Student

Ashley goes above and beyond to provide a safe, fun and enjoyable experience living on the 6th floor.

- Anonymous Student

Ashley supports student wellbeing and positive mental health at Lakehead by running various programs in residence to build community with the students who live there. She runs many team bonding activities such as muffin making, coaster decorating, pumpkin carving, and trips to the movies. On her floor she has boards that students can interact with, for example, the board this month is “what brings you joy.” - Anonymous Student

Always positive and have loads of great ideas and always willing to listen - Anonymous Student

She has been very kind and has been through many difficult situations and has pushed through better than ever and has always had a great attitude. - Anonymous Student

To me, mental health means to care for your mind as you do your body. Mental health means to work on our feelings, emotions, social wellbeing, and psychological needs. These things are not easily controlled or understood, and each person is unique in taking care of themselves. To take care of one's mental health, you must value it as important as you would your physical health.

I believe I support student mental health through being present and available in the residence community. I focus on noticing what is going on with the student, naming what I see, and referring them to the proper supports that Lakehead. I provide a welcoming and safe environment for students to talk in and feel like themselves, then I try my best to provide the support that they need and want. Furthermore, I work on providing programming that focuses on mental health awareness and eliminating the stigma of mental health.

- Ashley McLetchie


Charles (Chuck) Manners

Criminology Program

He openly talks about mental health and how important it is.  - Anonymous Student


Elizabeth Adams

Residence Life

Elizabeth is a phenomenal house president who always encourages mindfulness and kindness to all within the 6th floor community. - Anonymous Student

To me, mental health is something that we all experience and it is integral to our lives! Mental health is our emotional, psychological and social well-being all working together. It's how we find harmony and peace in our emotions and engage in our relationships with others, as well as ourselves!

I'm an HP in Residence, which gives me an incredible opportunity to directly support students and offer programs on our campus to help them in maintaining positive mental health during their time at Lakehead. I've hosted powerpoint nights covering burn out tips and tricks and mindfulness practices, that can now be accessed by the linktree on the Orillia Residence Life Instagram page, to connect students with resources that work for them. As the Chair of the Community Outreach Committee I regularly target food insecurity to provide students with healthy meals through food drives, learn to cook nights, raising funds for local charities, and information campaigns to decrease stigma around getting the support you need for their physical and mental well-being. Being able to support students after classes are done and they leave Simcoe Hall is one of the best parts of being an HP. As staff that engage with students nearly everyday, we can enhance make an impact to enhance student mental health and wellbeing by offering programs and resources tailored to the university student experience. It can be difficult to balance the stressors of student life with maintaining healthy mental health, so being present and letting students know they have someone to go to when they need support makes our jobs here even more important. - Elizabeth Adams

Dr. Florin Pendea

 Departments of Sustainability Sciences and Geography & the Environment

Always checks in with his students, gives many kind words of encouragement and reminds us that we are more than just our grades. I went through a hard time this semester struggling with pneumonia & then a concussion and when I was worried about not being able to complete assignments on time, not only did he check in to make sure I was feeling okay, but he reassured me that my recovery was more important than a few assignments. Florin's always there for us and it's very appreciated. - Anonymous Student

The human mind has extraordinary powers. It has the power to transform, to heal, and to keep us balanced. A healthy mind gives us the ability to meet life with equanimity - a most precious gift - and thus we must tend to it every day.

The human mind has extraordinary powers. It has the power to transform, to heal, and to keep us balanced. A healthy mind gives us the ability to meet life with equanimity - a most precious gift - and thus we must tend to it every day.

Incorporating mental health awareness in the work I do with my students is very important to me. In addition to fostering a positive work space, it helps us create a sense of community, a safe space where everyone can be exactly as they are.

- Dr. Florin Pendea

Hilton Bertalan

Interdisciplinary Studies

He is extremely understanding of mental health issues and encourages students to reach out and speak to him if needed. - Anonymous Student

Bakes cookies and gives extensions. - Anonymous Student

I want their brains to hurt, not their feelings. I think they are more likely to embrace the unknown and engage ideas with wonder and humility if the classroom is full of respect, laughter, and cookies. - Hilton Bertalan

Lori Anne Beneteau

 Dana Hospitality Service

She always has a smile on her face and welcoming demeanour. Everyone in the dining hall looks forward to seeing Lorie and when I’m in a bad place some days her personality always pulls me out of it! She is such a remarkable person and by just being present has helped so many students! - Anonymous Student

Mental health is a big part of my life on a daily basis as per I suffer from mental health myself and I've learned coping tools to stay in control and try live a normal life. It's very important to listen to people, see their body language, and not jump to conclusions because you never know what is going on inside in another individual. I try to help students at Lakehead and let them know I understand and make myself available if ever they need anything.

I support mental health awareness at Lakehead in a very important way as I suffer from mental health with anxiety, depression. I let students know that so they know they are not alone and yes it's ok to be sad, mad, and not feeling yourself and I try to keep my communications open with the students. I have built relationships with a lot of the students and have had students come to me to just to talk and have a friend. Mental health sometimes shuts you down, I let them know it's ok and tomorrow or this week will be a better day my door is always open for discussions.

Mental health is very important and yes it does effect a lot of people in this world we live in and yes it is a real thing and yes things will be ok with the proper programs, treatments, workshops, and personal 1 on 1 conversations.

- Lori Anne Beneteau

Dr. Michelle McKee

Student Health and Wellness

Michelle goes above and beyond to make me feel seen and heard in times of overwhelming stress. She goes out of her way to ensure I feel supported, know where to get support, and overall feels like a safe space in such a stressful world. She allows me to be able to let it all out, without worrying about how much time we have left in an appointment. - Anonymous Student


Tess Casole Buchanan

 School of Social Work

Always cheering us on and noticing strengths even throughout difficult times. Spreads cheer and warmth and offers students a sense of belonging. She always recognizes our hard work for what it is and celebrates it with us before offering more challenges. She reminds us that we are wonderful souls doing good work in the world and spends a great deal of time advocating on our behalf to have us placed in our practicums. - Anonymous Student

Mental health means a quiet mind and a faithful heart. When a student is in crisis, I let them know that I see them as a vibrant and beautiful child of God. Valued and essential to this world in the most meaningful way. I encourage them to embrace their loving hearts and to not believe everything they think. Educators need to remember that love for humanity is more important now than ever before and we all have a responsibility to one another to let love lead us in all things that we do.

These are our future leaders and care-givers. We owe them our respect and encouragement.

- Tess Casole Buchanan

The WellU Champions for Mental Health initiative is based on the Queen's University “ Champions for Mental Health” and has been adapted to include Lakehead specific information, resources and branded materials.