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New Initiative Focuses on Student Wellness

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Michelle Wong
Communications Assistant
Wed, 06/13/2018 - 15:30

With midterms in full swing and final examinations quickly approaching, Federation of Students has partnered up with Peer Health Education and Athletics and Recreation to introduce a new initiative focused on student health and wellness.

Reading"The Wellness Days initiative looks at how we can provide multiple types of wellness engagement to students," said Savannah Richardson, VP Student Life. “These events are centered around mental, physical, and lifestyle wellness and can be in the form of a physical event, an engagement on social media, or even a more passive event such as having fruit available at Turnkey Desk.”

The vision for Wellness Days is to take the student experience beyond academics to emphasize that student wellness is an integral part of success not only in the classroom, but in all aspects of your life, Richardson said.

“If we can provide opportunities to improve student wellness across campus and with different campus partners, then we really hope to act on that,” said Richardson. “I believe that this initiative will be very beneficial because there will be different approaches from the different campus partners that can speak to unique student experiences.”

This initiative addresses student wellness not only at peak times of stress such as examinations, but consistently throughout the term as wellness and mental health are ongoing. Wellness Days will take events that typically only occur during Wrap Up Week and provide them throughout the term.

Wellness Days were also inspired by a recommendation from the President’s Advisory Committee on Student Mental Health (PAC-SMH) for more campus partnership and a more holistic community approach to wellness.

“This initiative dissolves that one-week-of-events mindset and brings it more throughout the term,” said Richardson. “We are actively looking to improve the wellness of students not just once a term [when stress can be highest] but throughout, and doing so through a community approach with our campus partners.”

Students need to take care of themselves in all aspects which includes their physical, mental, and lifestyle wellness, Richardson said. The Wellness Days initiative will provide students with opportunities that encourage the building of a well-balanced lifestyle, addressing what Richardson described as the three pillars of wellness: mental, physical, and lifestyle.

In addition to Wellness Days, there are many services and resources on campus that support student wellness. Services such as the Women’s Centre, UW MATES, and The Glow Centre all offer peer-to-peer support. Athletics and Recreation runs the Move Your Mind program, where students can experience the benefits of physical activity in a safe and comfortable environment. Workshops and one-on-one opportunities are available from Counselling Services, and academic support is available from Feds and from your academic advisor.

“We need to keep the conversation going and the dialogue honest. If there is a need, share that and make sure we don’t ever close the door to conversation and feedback around campus wellness and improving student life,” said Richardson.

Interested students should keep an eye out for future opportunities to get involved with Wellness Days as this new initiative will be crafting a volunteer team to facilitate engagement and run future events.

To stay connected and for more information, check out the Federation of Students website and Facebook page.