When I first shared my blog post online, I didn’t mean for it to influence people.
Hey TTP community!
2018 is officially in full swing and I hope you're jumping into this semester well-rested and energized. Seeing as it's a new year, I'd like to begin with transparency and clarity.
Recently, I realized there might be some misconceptions about the TTP and what the organization and community is about. There have been many newcomers and new changes in the past few months and I want to make sure that there's no miscommunication or misunderstanding, and maintain the same high standard of transparency that TTP is known for.
1. The Tipping Point is currently and will always be a non-profit organization:
The Tipping Point Mental Health Society is currently, has always been, and will always be a 100% government-overseen registered non-profit organization. Anything we take in goes towards either our overhead costs like keeping the website running, renting meeting space, or other various expenses, like one day hopefully paying the team of volunteers that keep it all running. I have personally put in thousands of dollars of my own (and my parents!) money to build and maintain this society. Registered nonprofits have strict legal rules around its operations and we've always been careful to follow them.
2. The Tipping Point is NOT a medical service.
If you are currently struggling with suicidal ideation, please stop reading and contact the Crisis Interventions and Suicide Prevention Centre. TTP is not a counseling service or a peer support group. We are an organization that initiates the challenging conversations around mental health in academia, in an intersectional perspective. We originated with the mission of advocating for systemic change on the level of academic policy, but we have been shifting the central goal of the organization as we realized that advocacy within a large system like a university is going to take a long time to have an effect, and we currently do not have the resources to take on this exhausting feat. We'll get on it when it makes sense. That said, we do have a list of student-run resources on our website that UBC students have access to, should they feel the need to.
3. Ji Youn's Coaching Program, Formerly Tip Labs
First, a little backstory for context:
In the past few years, I have responded to messages from and talked to hundreds of students who struggle with overwhelming stress and anxiety. They are looking for guidance and solutions on how to manage their stress and build a work-life balance and hopefully not burn out. As many of you know, I was one of these students, and it was a painful experience because like these students, I found that schools, books, and existing programs did not fully help people like myself, people who sought personal growth strategies that were understanding of the limitations of my mental illness.
Fortunately, with a lot of trial and error, and after investing hundreds of hours (and dollars) into personal development tools and enrollment in coaching services, I figured out a system that can be incredibly helpful for a lot of people who burned out due to overwhelming stress and the inability to focus due to diagnosed mental health issues. People like myself.
This brings us to what I’m doing today:
I would love to be able to spend every waking minute offering free coaching and advice (and I do sometimes! I will take on pro-bono cases to help those who are in need on a case-by-case basis. If you feel like you need this style of coaching but can't afford it, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org). Coaching is a time and energy intensive process, and I take my job seriously. I'm proud to be able to say that every single one of my clients has seen tremendous progress through this work and I'm deeply honored to be a part of their lives. If you'd like to read about their (unedited!) experiences, click here.
Most importantly, I do not take on the role of a therapist or counsellor to my clients. I am not a medical professional and do not have the credentials to offer treatment as such. In fact, I make a point to refuse to work with clients that have been diagnosed with mental illness if they are not already working with a counsellor/therapist. I help students optimize their focus, organize their commitments for work-life balance, and manage stress. I incorporate empathy, compassionate communication and disciplined self-care for my clients because I know how tough university can be on their mental health. However, I do not address the treatment of mental illness. This is personal and professional development, not counselling.
Like any other coaching and consulting service, there is no one-size-fits-all option. It's important that students find what is exactly right for them, from seeing a therapist, involvement in a club or other extracurricular, or the personalized coaching that I provide. Because of this I offer a 100%, no questions asked money back guarantee if clients try the first session and decide it's not for them.
4. Unbranding of Tip Labs
We are going to be updating the TTP website over the next couple months so it will accurately show the changes and improvements we have planned, and to phase Tip Labs out of the TTP brand and onto my own business webpage. We welcome discussion and any communication about this topic because mental health is so easily ignored, and because people who don't understand the experience can easily reduce it to "well counseling exist already so why does there need to be anything more?" It's important to remember that just because other people want to minimize your needs doesn't mean those needs aren't valid, and a solution that is right for someone else doesn't necessarily have to be right for you.
Hopefully that brings some clarity to The Tipping Point and my own individual work. As always, please feel free to contact us through our Facebook page or send me an email.
Have an amazing 2018.
Yours in love and health,
For the past couple of months, I’ve been in a state of free-fall - excited that I’m flying but terrified that I’m falling. I felt grounded but so many things were flying around me and I was desperately grabbing for them. Lessons learned: Take a step back and observe what currently exists. I’m a flight centre learning to strategize how to land and fly all the big and small planes. Prioritize and strategize.