Getting personal with Dean Saunders, Founder and CEO of eCreators, does not come easy for him. But increasingly so he’s been willing to open up about difficult, even troubling things, to wider audiences. It is part of the reason why he’s devoted his life to support education.
His educational experiences, growing up in rural Victoria, in the southeastern corner of Australia, “were limited. Curriculum often favored those who excelled, but a lot of others were left behind. And I was one of those who got left behind.“
“I found that I would learn more from my peers, in my interactions with others that didn’t necessarily happen sitting in a classroom.“
For him, opening in up is a way to say that it’s okay to do so. It’s a form of health care, another critical area that left him an indelible mark as a young technologist in a pediatric ward.
Issues of mental health continue to remain taboo, despite their wide impact all over the world. So much so that many thought leaders, including Dr. Susan Borja at the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, are talking about the onset of a second pandemic. This time, one borne out of isolation and economic hardship and whose symptoms include depression and anxiety.
Suicide and emotional distress hotlines have seen generalized spikes in call volumes. Psychological and emotional services are also on high demand. Healthcare workers have been perhaps the most severely affected group, in a general crisis that demands leadership and planning.
When it comes to eLearning, one question remains: Can you educate your way into mental health prevention?
Last September 10, R U OK held its annual #RUOK campaign, a documentary turned advocacy day since 2009. It is the product of Gavin Larkin, who in 1995 had the fateful experience of his father’s suicide. Successful in business and surrounded by a loved family, Barry Larkin’s mental health issues remained hidden and undiagnosed.
eCreators has been an ongoing support of the initiative. In addition to their support to R U OK, a series of free courses aimed to support educators to tackle these issues in the classroom are available for free.
- How to deal with loneliness
- How to Care for Your Mental Health During Quarantine
- How to Improve Your Mental and Emotional Health
- How to Overcome Family Violence
Courses on these and other topics will continue to be offered, free of charge, on a weekly basis. Sign up for free here.
While achieving impressive growth and a recognition as 2019’s Global Moodle Partner of the Year, eCreators’ goal is to put powerful educational tools in the hands of everyone who needs them, to help themselves and their communities. Admittedly, a problem that tends to grow more daunting the deeper you look into it.
“We now believe that a set curriculum for all is not the way to go. A team of 30 is serving the needs of some 3 million learners around the globe. Being able not just to serve learning needs, but to connect learners of all ages, and making sure they can put knowledge into action is the challenge, and also the greatest source of satisfaction.“
If you want to learn more about Saunders’ story, listen to him, or check out his talk at the Elearning Success Summit.