Program Assistant for the Women’s Center and LGBTQ+ Resource Center
It is important to role model anxiety for students in particular because…when you have anxiety, depression, or mental health issues, you are taught to hide them and not allow them to interfere. You have to put on this facade that everything is okay all of the time. I think people don’t realize that there is a way to be vulnerable and be open about what can be helpful to you and your mental health. In particular, I think it is nice to have a work environment where your supervisor understands mental health. I have worked with other supervisors in the past that did not have the same views and had to make up physical things that were wrong…It is an identity that is present with me all the time.”
Before Alicia, I never had a supervisor that was open to sharing their mental health issues. With Alicia being like”…my depression is bad today; I need to take the day off, I need to do X, Y, Z” … gave me the confidence and ability to be like “yeah, that is okay for me to do too.”
You don’t realize how much mental health issues are going around until you start having conversations with people and being open about it. So that is something I try to role model for students who are going to move on from this environment to a work environment and show them that you don’t have to pretend to be okay all of the time.
What is one action each employee can take to make UWO a more inclusive workplace?
Making sure that everyone on campus knows ways to practice pronouns and making it clear that it is not acceptable to mis-pronoun people. Obviously, that will happen accidentally, but it is not okay for that to become a reoccurring problem. I think there could be a lot more accountability on trying to change that aspect, for me and my identities, that would be really helpful