I hope that this finds you all safe and well.
Last month I sent an email out to the Forestry community raising the important issue of mental health and wellbeing. Thank you all for your feedback.
As I said, this is a conversation that we need to be having. The Associate Deans and I have spent a good deal of time discussing these issues, and we are committed to being proactive and forward-thinking in providing support. We are also committed to providing the necessary resources to address the vital topic of mental health and wellbeing in a meaningful way.
We are currently working on documentation, which, among other things, will provide information on supports, resources, tools, and best practices for maintaining mental wellbeing, reducing stress, and achieving a healthy work-life balance. It will also list key systems, policies, and processes that the Faculty of Forestry has (or should have) in place. Additionally, we are arranging a series of training and support workshops related to mental wellbeing in the coming weeks – please stay tuned.
We would also like to take more of a grassroots approach to developing and implementing truly holistic solutions for our Faculty. To that end, we are establishing a Faculty of Forestry Wellness Committee, building on the excellent work that Eli Koleva led for many years promoting physical health and group activities. The focus of this committee will be to come up with recommendations and an action plan for promoting mental health and wellbeing in our community, including identifying opportunities to improve our systems, policies, and procedures.
Our hope is that this committee would comprise staff, students, and faculty. If you are interested in taking part in this important initiative, please let Eli Koleva know, and we will arrange a preliminary meeting shortly.
All the best,
Dr. Robert Kozak
Professor and Dean