Imad’s presentation focused on the burnout epidemic affecting higher education institutions across the country. He invited participants to explore potential solutions and emphasized the importance of creating “resilient spaces” where colleagues and students, particularly those from historically underserved and marginalized backgrounds, can acquire necessary skills, resources, and support to navigate challenges they encounter and grow from their experiences.
Throughout the presentation, Imad paused to ask attendees to form small groups at their tables to discuss concepts such as intergenerational trauma and reparative humanism and how they can implement these concepts in their work. Following each small group discussion, volunteers shared takeaways with the entire room. Among the ideas brought up were finding ways to help students better navigate resources available on campus, challenging entrenched inequalities in higher education, and examining unspoken agreements in higher education that may be harmful.
Participants left with a sense of empowerment to make their courses more “burnout-proof” by checking in with students about their feelings about the course and being willing to make adjustments, including reducing content if necessary, while still meeting learning objectives. Imad emphasized that resilience is not a one-size-fits-all approach but rather our ability to bounce back when we experience adversity or trauma. Future sessions will occur in Winter and Spring Quarters, with registration information posted on the Equity in Mental Health series website as details are finalized.