Conestoga news

August 30, 2021 11:28 AM

Conestoga counsellor honoured with provincial award

Conestoga counsellor Keith Martin has been honoured with the 2021 Ontario College Counsellors (OCC) Excellence for Counselling Practice Award. The annual award honours counsellors in the Ontario college system who have made outstanding contributions and demonstrated exceptional leadership working at the post-secondary level.

Conestoga College - Keith Martin.jpg
Conestoga counsellor Keith Martin has been honoured with the 2021 Ontario College Counsellors Excellence for Counselling Practice Award.

A counsellor at Conestoga since 2002, Martin has provided leadership and distinguished service throughout his counselling career. By providing professional support that includes solution-focused counselling strategies, cognitive behavioural therapy, crisis counselling, self-compassion and narrative therapy techniques, Martin helps students identify and achieve their goals with support.

“My initial reaction was surprise, but I quickly became aware of what an honour it was to receive this award,” said Martin. “It was made extra special due to the fact that my colleagues, who I know well, felt that I was deserving of this honour. I am fortunate to work with a wonderful group of colleagues that I respect.”

While Martin has worked primarily at the college’s Doon campus, he has also provided counselling services at satellite campuses in Guelph and Waterloo and has taught courses in the Human Services Foundation program. Trained in a variety of specialized competencies, he has sought specialized training in treating trauma, compassion fatigue, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, suicide prevention (SafeTALK), anger and conflict resolution.

As a safeTALK trainer, Martin has delivered training to employees and students at various campuses to promote campus and community suicide prevention. More recently, he has been facilitating compassion fatigue workshops for college employees as well as to students who are studying in programs in the helping professions.

Described by colleagues as a true champion for higher education with a tireless commitment to serving the college’s students, Martin regularly leads psychoeducational workshops and seminars for students and employees on various issues concerning mental health and wellness and also facilitates critical incident debriefings when the college community has experienced a loss. 

“I am proud of the fact that I have had the opportunity to work with so many people,” added Martin. “I count myself fortunate to have joined people in their journey and been able to support them and overcome obstacles and difficulties.”

This is the second consecutive year the OCC has recognized Conestoga counsellors. In 2020, counsellor Shawna Bernard was honoured with the OCC’s Leadership Award.

Conestoga students have access to student wellness supports and services that include counselling services, a medical care clinic, and self-help and peer support programs. Visit Student Success Services for more information.