James McLellan Recognized as a Champion for Mental Health

Posted on May 26, 2023

Congratulations to James McLellan who was recognized as a 2023 Champion for Mental Health! More than 60 Queen’s instructors, teaching assistants, and staff members were recognized as 2023 Champions for Mental Health for creating supportive learning and campus environments. These champions have been nominated by students in every faculty and school, for showing compassion, encouraging a sense of belonging, inspiring health-promoting behaviours, and promoting student mental wellbeing.


The Champions for Mental Health program is a student-led initiative that was developed in 2021 by the Student Mental Health Collective in response to both student feedback and research calling for increased mental health promotion in academics and campus environments. 

“Mental health means feeling balanced, in the moment, with quiet confidence to try new things, acceptance and non-judging when things work and when they don't - essentially ‘mindful’.

Providing a supportive and engaging environment - a community of learners - within a course can be a very effective way of supporting student mental health. Such an environment is both "personalized" and a community, with a shared ‘job to be done’ - collectively learning, building confidence in understanding and applying concepts, and is encouraging.

I think the way in which we approach academic assessments is important and can play a significant role in student mental health - the difference in mindset between encouraging and confirming learner, versus being a ‘gatekeeper’. Confirming understanding and ability to apply is important, and is an obligation to society in professional programs like engineering. But if the assessments are placed in the stance of a ‘gate’ - a barrier to overcome - this can engender a stressful and negative frame of mind”.

--- Dr. James McLellan

Article modified from the Queen’s Gazette and Campus Wellness.