Student burnout is a serious issue that most students will face at least once in their time at university — but they don’t have to face it alone.
This week, the university launched UVic Bounce, an initiative that aims to combat student burnout by decreasing the stigma around facing challenges in university and seeking mental health services. The project is currently online only and is being hosted on UVic’s website. Additional offerings such as peer support and panel events are slated to be added over the coming months. The site features YouTube videos of stories told by professors and alumni across the university about their successes and failures at UVic.
UVic Bounce was spearheaded by Rebecca Gagan, an assistant teaching professor in the Department of English, with financial and collaborative support from the Faculty of Humanities. Over time, Gagan hopes the project will provide “critical, early-stage resources to help students thrive at university and beyond.”
Using the Stanford Resilience Project — a program that combines personal storytelling, events, programs, and academic skills coaching — as a guide, Gagan developed UVic Bounce with the aim to support the mental health of UVic students and encourage them to seek necessary mental health supports.
Students may feel ashamed of the challenges and failures they face on campus.
“UVic Bounce seeks to de-stigmatize discussions around [difficulties] and challenges, and thereby help students feel more able to share their stories and to seek support,” said Gagan.
Through sharing the successes and struggles of UVic faculty and alumni, Gagan hopes to demonstrate that every UVic student and instructor faces challenges throughout the course of their post-secondary experience.
“When professors are willing to risk being vulnerable and share their stories of struggle, they open up space for students to share their own. I don’t think we can underestimate how significant and transformative it can be for a student to feel a part of a community that sees them.”
Alongside groups like Counselling Services and the Peer Support Centre, UVic Bounce adds another support option for students.
“[This] is one more contribution to the already very comprehensive program of mental health resources for students here,” Gagan said. “In order to support our students and address the mental health crisis on campus … we must continue to come up with new and innovative ways of filling the gaps in the existing support structure.”
To take advantage of this resource, visit uvic.ca/bounce.