Food for thought: Mental health, tattoos on menu for McLaughlin Lunch Talk series

The widely popular McLaughlin College Lunch Talks will launch for the 2016-17 academic year with five events during the month of September, which run from noon to 1:30pm in 140 McLaughlin College (Senior Common Room).

Stephanie Francis
Stephanie Francis

The series kicks off Sept. 14 with a talk by Stephanie Francis, health education coordinator at York University.

Francis, who is also one of York’s suicide awareness and intervention trainers, will present “Taking Care of YU,” which touches on student health.

In the spring of 2013, York participated in the National College Health Assessment (NCHA), a national research effort organized by the American College Health Association to assist universities in collecting data about their students’ habits, behaviours and perceptions on a range of topics including alcohol use, sexual health, nutrition, mental health, injury prevention and personal safety.

This lunch talk will engage participants in exploring the idea of self-care and how it can be incorporated into the life of a busy student.

Francis received a BA in women’s studies from the University of Windsor. She is passionate about mental health and working on mental health initiatives, and she previously worked in Residence Life at York.

Deborah Davidson
Deborah Davidson

Next in the series is a talk by Professor Deborah Davidson on Sept. 22: “Talking Tattoos: What Tattoos Tell Us.”

Tattoos are more than just cool. While they have long been used as marks of deviance, they have also been used for spiritual and decorative purposes, sacred art and as a part of sacred ceremonies marking social position, power and strength of character.

In this interactive presentation, Davidson will touch on how we make and share meaning through tattoos, and how tattoos represent the stories we tell and the stories we are.

Davidson is a tattooed sociologist, as well as the editor of and a contributor to The Tattoo Project: Commemorative Tattoos, Visual Culture, and The Digital Archive (Jan. 2017). Her research and writing interests are in the areas of loss and bereavement, and creativity within grief. She has also published in the areas of motherhood, health, methodology and pedagogy, and she is the creator of The Tattoo Project: Creating a Digital Archive for Commemorative Tattoos.

Everyone is welcome to these events, and light refreshments will be served. The event is co-sponsored by the Office of the Master, McLaughlin College, and the York Collegium for Practical Ethics (YCPE).

For more information on the Lunch Talk series, contact Vicky Carnevale at ext. 33824 or