Addressing the hippo in the room – student mental health – Daily News

The Professor Hippo-on-Campus Mental Health Education Program is giving McMaster community members the tools to recognize and support students in distress

A unique program at McMaster is giving staff and faculty the tools to support the mental health of students.

The Professor Hippo-on-Campus Mental Health Education Program is designed to respond to the ever-growing demand for mental health resources to benefit post-secondary students and for training specific to the post-secondary environment.

The program — which is free and open to all McMaster staff and faculty, including student staff — teaches participants to identify, communicate with and support distressed students. It also helps spread awareness about the mental health services available on campus, and how participants can help students navigate them.

“Professor Hippo-on-Campus recognizes that faculty and staff, while not expected to be mental health experts or counselors, are often ideally situated to recognize and respond to stressed and distressed students and to start important conversations,” says Dr. Catharine Munn, a psychiatrist and the creator and lead of the program.

Professor Hippo-on-Campus, which is offered through the McMaster Okanagan Office of Health & Well-being and supported by the

McCarthy Capitalizes on College of Public Health Education to Become Trailblazer in Arkansas

View Larger Image
BC
Suzanne McCarthy is deeply connected to the evolution of public health in Arkansas. An alumna of the UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, McCarthy is the school’s first-ever student.

McCarthy was the college’s first student when she took a course when it opened in fall 2001. Her decision to enroll in the upstart school was a matter of capitalizing on a prime opportunity.

“When the college officially launched, students were needed,” she said. “Some of the college’s organizers knew I wanted a public health education and encouraged me to enroll.”

In the early days of the college, most of its students were working professionals in health care. McCarthy was part of that trend as she was helping to establish the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI), which aims to facilitate access to high quality, cost-effective care for all Arkansans.

In the process of fulfilling her co-founder responsibilities for ACHI, McCarthy realized

Randall Ortel leverages the power of social media to promote health education

The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Dr Randall Ortel has taken interacting with patients to a whole new level – leveraging the power of social media to encourage his followers to take care of their physical and mental health. And while he provides expert advice on a range of health conditions, from cardiovascular disease and diabetes to the potential origin of nagging back pain, the disclaimer remains clear – always visit a healthcare provider’s office to confirm and manage a diagnosis.

Dr Ortel is a family medicine specialist, and an occupational, emergency and obstetric medical practitioner. He’s a lecturer in UCT’s Department of Family Medicine, which is attached to Groote Schuur Hospital (one of UCT’s teaching hospitals). He also serves as the manager for medical services at Karl Bremer hospital – a large district hospital in the Cape Metropole.

“My aim has always been to get people to take better care of themselves. So, I decided that because social media is such a powerful tool that allows us to disseminate information at the click of a button and has the potential to spread rapidly; I thought why not give it a try. I wanted to see if it served its