Meet Our Writers: Kim

kimwaterton-0443
A woman in a blue shirt stands facing a pond with mountains in the background. She is looking over her shoulder at the camera and smiling.

My graduate school experience pushed me to examine my own mental health, repeatedly, eventually driving me to seek refuge outside of the ivory tower. Though I finished my PhD in Evolution and Behaviour in 2016, my (and other’s) experience left me disillusioned with the institution and struggling with depression and intense emotional deregulation.

As a passionate educator, I value experiential learning and believe that my experience is an opportunity for reflection and growth. I want to provide support to those who remain in a system that often fails its brilliant own, so I’m excited to join the AMHC and work with an amazing team towards healthier academic culture.

My desire is to de-stigmatize mental illness in academic and other settings where those of us that are high-functioning often find ourselves feeling trapped and struggling silently. A large part of my own healing experience has been sharing with and supporting my community; joining others here in sharing stories, connecting in a supportive network to create a safer space, and speaking up and out in a system that has traditionally silenced conversations on mental illness feels incredibly important to me.

Having left academia (for now), I’m learning how to establish work-life balance at a new job in the public service. In my self-care hours, you can find me in the woods, in my kitchen, on my bicycle, caught in the spell of a fine bass beat, in a hammock with my nose in a book, or knitting furiously. As a dedicated volunteer, I can also be found planning local community events or working on consent education initiatives as co-founder of the Vancouver-based Consent Crew.

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