The role of a Don/RA can be very rewarding as well as challenging. While it is an opportunity to develop important, transferable skills and a strong community, the role of being a peer support worker can be stressful and at times overwhelming. This workshop series will be led by a counsellor and aims to support Dons and Residence Advisors by creating a space to acknowledge some of the common workplace stress experiences, and problem-solve these issues together. The counsellor will draw on your strengths and internal resources to help problem-solve issues related to secondary traumatic stress and burnout. We will explore the acute stress response (how the body responds to stress), strategies for getting to a more relaxed state, types of thinking patterns that contribute to feeling stressed, your individual unique warning signs that signal stress, and how to best take care of your needs.

 If you are interested in receiving a copy of the content covered in a specific workshop, email and we will send you the corresponding workbook chapter.

Dates for Fall 2019

Come to as many as you like! No registration required.

October 15, 2 – 3:30 p.m. | The Cost of Caring: Burnout, Compassion Fatigue, & Secondary Traumatic Stress

October 21, 2 – 3:30 p.m. | Asking for Help in the Workplace

October 29, 2 – 3:30 p.m. | Mobilizing Your Internal Resources

November 4, 2 – 3:30 p.m. | Knowing Your Limit & Staying Within It - Assertiveness and Saying No

November 12, 2 – 3:30 p.m. | Feeling Better by Adjusting How You Think

November 18, 2 – 3:30 p.m. | Improving Well-being and Happiness During Periods of Stress

November 26, 2 – 3:30 p.m. | Coping with Overwhelm through Relaxation

Faciliated by: Sarah Lynn Swaigen, Registered Social Worker and Melissa Fernandes, Health Education Coordinator

Location and Accessibility

Wayfinding using the stairs: To get to Group Room A by the stairs, enter the Koffler Student Services Building (214 College St.) using the St. George Street entrance. On the left you will find a staircase, and at the first landing you will find Room 204, this door will be unlocked, and Group Room A is the second door on the left side of the hall.

Wayfinding using the elevator: To get to Group Room A by elevator, enter U of T Bookstore in the Koffler Student Services Building (214 College St.). Ask any staff for assistance to access the elevator and take you to the 2nd floor. Exit the Bookstore on the 2nd floor and by going east (straight out the door), you will find room 204 labelled “Student Life Communications”. Knock on the door and a staff member will show you where Group Room A is.

For other accessibility accommodations or questions, please email