Your Role as a Teaching Assistant at the University of Toronto
As a teaching assistant at the University of Toronto, you play an important role in fostering an environment that promotes student mental health and wellp being. The new University of Toronto framework for mental health, encapsulated in the Report of the Provostial Advisory Committee on Student Mental Health (2014), encourages the entire University community to promote student mental health and wellp being. As a teaching assistant, yours is a front line role, which means that you may be one of the first people to notice when a student is experiencing distress. Students may also choose to disclose to you that they are facing difficulty or are in distress. Ultimately, your Course Instructor is responsible for students who are in your lab or tutorial. Still, your ability to recognize when a student may be in distress and require help makes you a key figure in in supporting early intervention which may be critical to preventing an escalation of the issue. This guide is intended to help you feel confident in responding to students in distress and referring them to available campus or community resources.