UBC Forestry warmly welcomes Nicole Adoranti, a Canadian Certified Counsellor, as the new Embedded Counsellor for both the Faculty of Forestry and the Faculty of Land and Food Systems. Nicole holds a Masters of Education in Counselling Psychology and has been a counsellor in both private practice and the post-secondary environment, having previously worked with students at the University of Toronto and New York University Abu Dhabi.
In this newly-created role, Nicole will focus on providing single session or short-term counselling, triage and referrals to Forestry students, while also promoting mental health through the development of a wellness program with our Student Services team. With years of experience working directly with students from different cultures and backgrounds, Nicole aims to make mental health resources more accessible as they continue to navigate their academic studies during a global pandemic.
“It doesn’t necessarily have to be a crisis situation that would draw someone to counselling, but rather a development of themselves that complements what they’re already trying to do at UBC: getting an education, establishing a good career, and taking advantage of opportunities to build a really great life. I think that learning how to take care of our mental health is a part of that,” says Nicole.
We caught up with Nicole to learn more about her goals, interests, and perspectives on health and wellbeing as she begins her new role.
Q: What drew you to the field of counselling, and what are your interests?
“I was drawn to the field during my undergraduate studies. I knew I wanted to further my education, and always thought I would be a teacher. I distilled the elements of teaching that I was drawn to, like connecting with others, making a difference in someone’s life and helping to improve the quality of someone else’s life and landed on Counselling as a career path that I felt was a good fit.”
Q: What do you hope to achieve with this new role at UBC?
“The list grows longer every day! First and foremost, to serve the student community of Forestry and LFS Faculties by enhancing and addressing their mental health and wellbeing needs. My wish is that I can offer support, resources, skill development and programming that allows students to learn how to foster and nourish their own mental health and wellbeing long after they graduate. I hope to bring in some fresh, fun programming that really hits on what students need. I would love to draw in the involvement of staff and faculty to build upon the sense of community that I can feel strongly in both faculties!”
Q: From your experience working at universities, what are some key challenges students face throughout their studies? What are some ways we can better support our students throughout their academic careers, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic?
“There are common challenges like transitions to university or life after graduation, academic pressures and concerns, developing as an emerging adult, etc. The pandemic added a layer that heightens any pre-existing difficulties that many of us are going through right now, as well as created new challenges, which has offered us all the opportunity to re-evaluate our relationship with mental health and how we take care of ourselves and each other. Having a common, global event can ultimately connect us, even though so many of us have struggled with disconnection. I always find it unique to be experiencing things at the same time as my clients and hope that adds depth to my counselling practice and what I offer to the communities in Forestry and LFS.”
Q: Do you have any mental health and wellbeing advice for students as we start to approach the busy end of the semester?
“There are many resources and supports on and off-campus that are available to you and I would encourage you to utilize them! Have compassion for yourself, plan for a break and think about how you will deeply care for yourself once the semester is over, and note down things that may be helpful to you come the next round of exams and end of semester pressures.”
Have more questions for Nicole, or are interested in scheduling time with her? Reach her below at our Student Services page!