Stress in the Workplace

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Safe workplace

On January 30, 2013, Donna Bowyer, Canadian Mental Health Association, SK Branch spoke to faulty and staff about the effects of stress on one’s health.  She noted that if you do not have mental health you do not have health.  As well, she emphasized that a person needs to consider, “Am I in control of stress or is stress controlling me?”

She noted that overall mental health issues (direct and hidden) are now costing Canadians $51 million dollars and that the health system is spending less money on the issue today than they did in the 1960’s.  She also stated the 500 000 people a day are entering medical facilities with mental health related issues.

Donna Bowyer discussed what was causing people stress including a lack of assertiveness, unrealistic expectations (home, work and other people at work); negative self-talk, pessimism, and the inability to accept uncertainty.  She underlined that it was important when feeling stress to STOP, take a breath and to re-evaluate what was happening or causing the stress.  It is important for us to be present – in the moment- rather that focused on what has happened or what might happen in the future.  She noted that children when they play are here in the now.  Stay present!

Toxic vs. Safe Workplace

The presentation discussed what caused a toxic workplace and Donna gave examples such as an employer who placed employees together on one floor while renovations were taking place and then decided to keep them all on one floor.  The employees had no personal space which impacted negatively on them and their mental health.  She also noted that employers need to include adequate training before introducing new things.

As for stress Donna noted that one time something might happen to you and you deal with it fine but the next time it could be a major stressor.  The individual needs to consider that between the stress and the stress in the individual and the key factor is, “How do you (the individual) process the information (or view the stressor)?

Donna outlined how to reduce stress in your life by focusing on four key factors: 1) take charge of your thoughts, 2) take charge of your emotions, 3) use your schedule to help you not hinder you and 4) consider the way you deal with problems.  She also used the analogy of an elastic that when we have a problem that the solution will change depending on who you are dealing with but you can only stretch the elastic so far until it breaks.

Awareness was brought to the fact that a phobia was not a disorder unless it interferes with your life.  She said that her phobia is birds flying loose in buildings but she is quite capable of functioning with this phobia. We learned that anxiety is 100% treatable and arise from wanting to control ones environment whereas depression results in having no energy to do anything.  In most cases women will pull in whereas men will push away.  In the area of diagnosis women will stop enjoying what they enjoyed whereas if a man liked hockey he will still like hockey -hence while he may have depression the doctor will misdiagnose based on asking “Do you still enjoy what you liked before?”

Peer support in the workplace is very important to reduce stress.  You need someone you can trust to vent your frustration and know that they will hold your information in confidence.

The session ended with Donna talking about how it is important to support coworkers with mental health issues whether it is going out with coffee with them,  including them in activities when they are off work and it is most important to listen.  Stay connected. There are accommodations to bring people back into the workplace after traditional illnesses but when a person comes back after stress leave they are expected to hit the floor running at 100%.

Listen to the session podcast.


Beyond Coverage: Backward Design for Disciplinary Thinking

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Beyond Coverage

On January 23 faculty at Kelsey were able to participate in the webinar, “Beyond Coverage: Backward Design for Disciplinary Thinking” which was offered by Magna Publication facilitated by  Joel Sipress, Ph.D, University of Wisconsin-Superior and David Voelker, Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

The Seminar went through what is Backward Design and also gave useful examples of how to get started in this process.  The process is useful for instructors who are developing or revising a course.  It also highlighted the importance of thinking about ways of thinking and what type of disciplinary thinking is necessary in your area.

The one nugget that I thought was worth considering is how much is subject coverage worth or is in-depth knowledge more important: Are you into coverage of material?

If you would like to view the recording of this webinar, please contact the ILDC Facilitator at your campus.

Pat Tymchatyn, Kelsey; Deb Mervold, Woodland; Ron Smallwood, Palliser and Karen Wrightman, Wascana

Copyright Complicance: Curriculum Resources

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Pardoe Copyright>On January 16, 2013 Nancy Pardoe, SIAST Copyright Consultant, spoke to faculty and staff regarding the implementation of the Copyright guidelines.  The two sets of guidelines that instructors and staff might acquaint themselves with are Copyright Guidelines and SIAST Fair Dealing Guidelines.  These two sets of guidelines when used properly are to enable faculty to make decisions about what is the appropriate use of material.

Nancy gave many examples of how to use the guidelines emphasizing that the safest and easiest way of using the fair dealings section was a straight reproduction of 10% or less of a textbook.  Examples using diagrams or webpages and videos were more complex regarding what would be considered under fair dealings.

Nancy Pardoe’s Copyright Compliance podcast.

Nancy’s handouts regarding Copyright Compliance

The example that Nancy used in her presentation came from the Hole’s Textbook of Anatomy.  Nancy pointed out that there were 586 pages in the textbook.  She also had us note the difference between a photo listed in the photo credits (scroll down to view the page) which the publisher likely paid the owner for and a regular photo that the publisher owned. Notice that Nancy acknowledge the use of the textbook and the Fair Dealing statement on the first page of the handout.

In the following page Nancy went through different ways that the instructor might want to use the material from the textbook.

For more information contact Nancy Pardoe at SIAST Woodland Campus or the Copyright Office website