Mental Health In The Classroom

  • Katie Clare George Mason University
  • Patrice Levinson George Mason University


Location: JC Room E

As teachers, we have all had the experience of working with students who are not engaged, not submitting work, and maybe not even coming to class. In some instances, these behaviors are rooted in a mental health concern, and we don't always know how to respond to these challenges in the context of the classroom or in the relationship dynamic of student and teacher. This session will explore this topic by providing background information on suicide prevention and non-suicidal self-injury, so we have a better idea of what to look for in the classroom and how to respond. We will spend time role playing possible conversations to imagine what we might say in a range of circumstances. Additionally, we will explore the complex topic of stigma to better understand our own biases and to consider the ways in which someone with a mental health concern may experience things in ways that may be particularly challenging that those of us who don't struggle in this area may not fully appreciate. Finally, we will spend some time thinking about our own self-care strategies as faculty members and will consider the ways in which we model, fail to model, or could better model self-care in the classroom for our students.

Author Biographies

Katie Clare, George Mason University

Katie Clare earned her undergraduate degree in English and Art History in 2001 and her MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) in 2005. In 2008, she accepted the position of Assistant Dean for Mason's College of Humanities and Social Sciences. She is pursuing her PhD in Writing and Rhetoric with a research emphasis in mindfulness, well-being, and contemplative pedagogies. She is a certified Mental Health First Aid instructor through the National Council for Behavioral Health. Additionally, she is the instructor for the Mindful Living (soon-to-be Well-Being) LLC.

Patrice Levinson, George Mason University

Patrice Levinson is a Nurse Practitioner and certified Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) instructor at Student Health Services. She and Katie Clare developed and implemented a 1 Credit undergraduate course designed to offer the 8-hour MHFA training for Higher Education with certification to undergraduate students at Mason.

1:00pm-1:40pm Mini-Workshops, Panels, & Roundtables