Meet Jessica — Mount Allison’s Mental Health and Harm Reduction Educator
10/5/2018 2:09:03 PMJessica Griffin says she naturally navigated to a career in counselling.
“I’m an altruistic person and have always liked to help people,” she says.
Griffin began her post-secondary career in jazz music at StFX before quickly moving on to complete a business degree at Memorial University, followed by a Bachelor of Education at UNB, and finally a Master of Education in Counselling Psychology at Memorial University. She spent the last five years working at a youth treatment facility in Riverview and completed a counselling internship at Mount Allison last year. She has also volunteered with the Humanity Project who work in the areas of homelessness and addiction in Moncton.
Griffin, who started her position in September, says this new chapter will allow her to utilize the skillsets and relationships she has built through working with youth, especially focused in the area of harm reduction.
“With cannabis soon to be legalized, we need to meet students where they are,” she says. “There are lots of questions and we want to make sure students are getting the right information, becoming informed, and choosing wisely.”
Griffin will also work to promote positive mental health on campus. She encourages students to find a balance between the demands of being a student and practicing good self-care. She says it is important to take time for yourself — going for a walk, heading to the gym, eating a healthy diet, being well rested, and having some fun.
“You can also check in with a counsellor at the Wellness Centre,” she says. “You don’t have to wait for a crisis to talk to someone.”
She also recommends getting involved on campus and in the community and making the effort to build healthy peer relationships. For her own positive mental health, Griffin says she runs, watches funny movies, visits family and friends, and walks her dogs Alex and Stella.