Mental Health Support at Dumont Technical Institute

Press Release

May 6, 2024

At Dumont Technical Institute, mental health is a priority. As a program support facilitator, I ensure that the students have access to resources and support that they can access whenever they need. At the beginning of the program, I go in and introduce myself and my role at DTI. During my introduction, I give each student a folder with information on mental health supports. They are given wallet cards with all of Saskatchewan’s emergency numbers and websites. Along with this folder, there is a support board that is available for the students to come and look at, grab pamphlets, and/or scan QR codes to mobile resources.

If a student is unsure of what they may want support for, they can meet with me, the PSF. In doing this, we can narrow down what their struggles are and pinpoint what resources they may need. I have a resource and support book for Saskatoon that has different businesses, centers, and organizations information, contacts, numbers, and websites that I can help a student access.

Along with these resources, we have also partnered with different initiatives to better help our students. One of them is Embracing Life, a suicide prevention initiative. Embracing Life has a free app where students can journal, do a daily check-in, access emergency numbers, and create a safe space for themselves.

We also have Student Support, formerly known as Keep Me Safe, available and accessible to our students. This is an app where our students can freely access 24/7 mental health support. Students can freely access counselors by texting or calling at any time, twenty-four hours a day, every day.

DTI wants our students to know that they are not alone and that we are here to help and support them. We can provide them with the resources we have and connect them with professionals trained in the areas they need. Helping students manage their mental health will help them fully participate in their academic and social lives.

Prince Albert: bonny johnson, Program Support Facilitator

Our campus is a warm and inviting space. Students walk into greetings and conversation from the Instructors and Support Staff as they make their way to their classes.  We notice students who may have been away and welcome them back upon their return. Student Mental Health is important to us.

We address the whole person in terms of support. We have been able to help students secure housing, food, clothing, transportation, funding, and career guidance. Having the basic needs met helps with student Mental Health.
We often hear, initiate, and support conversations surrounding Mental Health to eliminate the stigma surrounding this topic.
We make sure to embed conversation surrounding self-care as the first step towards achieving positive Mental Health.
We incorporate The Big Four Strategies into our conversations to help students take proactive action regarding their Mental Health.
Our open-door policy allows students to feel safe. Some of the Instructors and Support Staff have a smudge ready, and students will often come in and ask for a smudge and/or a talk.
When students need Mental Health support, we use the ideas from the Mental Health Continuum. Some students appreciate seeing these concepts in a Medicine Wheel format.
We use the ALGES to ensure that students get the help they need.
Students on our campus have access to many supports. They are guided toward doctor visits, Elder support, counseling, and developing healthy support systems.

Northern Saskatchewan: Shaylyn Bouvier, Program Support Facilitator

My name is Shaylyn Bouvier, and I am a Program Support Facilitator at Dumont Technical Institute. My office is in Northern Saskatchewan, where I also look after surrounding communities. We understand the challenges that our students face when it comes to mental health. Balancing academic pressures, social life, and personal well-being can often feel like an overwhelming juggling act. That’s why, here at our institute, we have implemented a range of initiatives to support the mental health of our students.

One way we support our students is through our Mental Health Board. This board is a dedicated space on campus where students can find resources, information, and support related to mental health. From tips on stress management to contact information for counselling services, the Mental Health Board is a hub of information and guidance for students seeking help.

In addition to providing resources, we prioritize creating a culture of openness and support regarding mental health. Our institute organizes regular workshops and events focused on mental well-being, where students can learn about self-care practices, mindfulness techniques, and strategies for coping with stress.

Our efforts to support student mental health go beyond providing resources and services; we believe in creating a campus environment where students feel heard, valued, and supported. By promoting a culture of empathy, understanding, and collaboration, we aim to foster a community where every student’s mental health is a priority.

In the attached photos, you will see snapshots of the mental health wall, students engaging in wellness activities, and welcoming spaces dedicated to mental health support. These images capture the essence of our commitment to supporting the mental health of our students and creating a campus community where well-being is very important.

The Île-à-la-Crosse Rossignol High School hosted a mental health youth conference in April. My students, our students, and I participated and helped with it. We oversaw tipi teachings and made miniature tipis. It was a huge success.

Regina: Darcie Debruyne, Program Support Facilitator

Promoting mental health for our students at the Regina Campus happens by building relationships with the students and staff. We have an amazing staff team, and we all work together to provide our students with a wrap-around approach.  It is very much a TEAM effort here; creating a safe environment and getting to know the students is where building that relationship to promote mental health and well-being on our campus starts.

There is an open-door policy; if the door is open and you need to talk, come on in. Time is always made for the students. That is the key; to know that you are being listened to and not judged, to know that you are important and what you have to say matters. Students have said,” I’m sorry to dump all this on you; I know you’re busy.” We make sure they know they are the reason we are here, and we will always make time for them because they matter, and what they are going through matters. Life can be hard enough; we are here to help, maybe make it not so tough, if we can. We don’t have all the answers, but we do know how to be active listeners, genuine, accepting and show compassion and empathy.  Sitting with students and just listening sometimes can make all the difference. Students need to know that it’s okay not to be okay. We work to remove the stigma around mental health on our campus and promote respectful language; we don’t assume or judge. We make a point of promoting inclusiveness to all our students. We use the ALGES approach when assessing students, being sure to start where they are at, not where we think they should be. Being aware and using the mental health continuum, talking to our students about the importance of self-care.

We promoted the Living Works Start training at our campus throughout the school year. This 90-minute course gives people the foundational skills to recognize when someone may be thinking of suicide and how to connect with them to help. Healthy Campus Saskatchewan graciously paid for this course.

We have Mental Health material available all over our campus, making sure to share with students and staff when we come across new and useful information. We actively work at encouraging students to get help if they want it and will walk that path with them as much as we can. At the Regina Campus, it is our goal for our students to know and believe they are not alone!

IHT5

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