Trauma-Informed Practices in Post-secondary Education and the Psychosocial Impact of Mindfulness in the Classroom


  • Melanie Ruffie


Trauma, Mindfulness, Instructor-Student Relationship, Classroom Environment and Culture, Self-care, Post-secondary Education, International Students, Immigration


The global pandemic has led to a mental health crisis affecting the education sector. Educators had to adopt new approaches to teaching and manage students' well-being as well as their own. Mental health support services are available, but trauma-informed practices and mindfulness can be taught in classrooms to promote well-being and prevent absenteeism, dropouts, anxiety, depression, and fatigue. This shifts the paradigm from a deficiency framework towards the wellness and wholesomeness of the human being. Instructors could be seen as frontline workers and as such can have a significant impact on a student’s mental health and well-being. Trauma-informed practices enacted by the instructor can benefit international students who face communication difficulties, social isolation, and homesickness. This presentation demonstrates trauma-informed practices within an instructor-student relational perspective. This study emphasizes the importance of building understanding of trauma, shifting perspectives to focus on strengths, creating an emotionally supportive classroom culture, as well as prioritizing the instructor's self-care needs. These practices can help create safe and supportive learning environments for learners who are facing the challenges of being international students, primarily towards integrating into Canadian society. Incorporating trauma-informed practices into the academic curriculum can have a lasting impact on the overall well-being of both students and instructors.

Author Biography

Melanie Ruffie

Mélanie Ruffié has been teaching French for more than eight years including in the French Immersion Program in Trois-Pistoles, Québec.

She received a Master’s degree from the Western University in Ontario and is an examiner for the DELF/DALF exams.

She enjoys teaching, learning and exploring the world. Her teaching style promotes creativity, well-being and team building. She recently received her Pastry Diploma in Paris, France.