Fall Into Wellness and BUnique Fair helps students cope with stress

The Fall Into Wellness and BUnique Fair was focused on helping students maintain their mental health during a stressful part of the school year / Alena Kondratieva

University life can be a stressful and busy time for many, if not most, students. With exams, work life, personal relationships and everything else that gets thrown into the mix, it’s easy for students to get overwhelmed quickly. Brock’s Student Life & Community Experience decided it was important to support students with a wellness day that offered resources that help students relax and cope with stress.

On October 26, the Fall Into Wellness and BUnique Fair was held in Isaac’s, as well as in the Skybar Lounge.

Ali McDermid, who works in the First Year Experience Department for Student Life, said that the event was “about teaching and helping students about how to calm down and de-stress from midterms,” adding that the event is “an addition to wellness week,” and that “Student Life is looking into having [more] wellness days throughout the year to help students overcome high stress levels.”

The Fall Into Wellness and BUnique Fair venue featured various stands within Isaac’s Bar and Grill that highlighted a numerous amount of resources on campus such as Leave the Pack Behind, Active Minds, Career Zone and the Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre. There were student representatives at each station, willing to help students understand what their given resource is and how it can help students in terms of coping with stress.

Dominika Poczta, who works as a Brand Ambassador for Leave the Pack Behind said that their campaign right now is focused around the theme ‘Party without the Smoke’. She stated that their organization “sees that a lot of students will go out to drink and smoke when they’re stressed, [and] social smoking is a real danger that often leads to long term smoking.” She added that Leave the Pack Behind at Brock “offers a lot of resources for students to help them quit smoking as well as to find alternative options.”

Poctza explained that although not many students are aware of Leave the Pack Behind’s benefits, there are a variety of resources to help students quit smoking as well as to bring awareness about the dangers of smoking. For instance, Brock students may not be aware that Leave the Pack Behind offers eight weeks of free nicotine replacement therapy to Brock students that are between the ages of 18 and 29.

“This event is really great for mental health and stress awareness,” said Poctza, “as well as informing students about the numerous resources our campus has to offer.”

Along with Leave the Pack Behind, another one of Brock’s many resources on campus that was highlighted was the Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre which focuses on helping students enhance their academic, personal, social and spiritual life at Brock.

“Part of our role is to offer peer-to-peer assistance to students,” said Stephanie McKinnon, a Peer Health Educator with the Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre, “we can give students advice as well as refer them to other resources on campus.” McKinnon also added that they run a multitude of events throughout the year such as Mocktails for first-year residence students, drinking choices seminars, and sexual education talks.

McKinnon stated that if somebody is stressed and not sure how to deal with it, “talking to out is one of the best things to do.” She added that “if talking it out with a family member or friend doesn’t help, seeking personal counselling is nothing to be ashamed of.” McKinnon further stated that there is free personal counselling services available at Brock on the Fourth Floor of the tower, for anybody and everybody who needs it.

In addition to students being informed about various resources on campus, there was live music by Nicole Henderson, who works for Student Life, and the BUnique Fair happening in the Skybar Lounge right above Isaac’s.

BUnique Fair was set up with various local business vendors, with a theme on relaxation and methods of relieving stress. One of the vendors was a local Thorold business called Da Bomb Bathing Company. The founder and owner, Marsha Coppola, described her products as “homemade bath products that have the look and feel of a bakery.” Coppola stated that she knows how important it is to find time to relax and that she wants to provide others with methods of relaxation.

“As a mother I totally understand about taking that time for yourself,” said Coppola, “our products help by creating a soothing and resting environment.”

“Some scents help by reminding you of good memories,” shared Coppola, “[for example,] my grandmother had a lilac bush [and] now every time I smell lilac, I feel care-free and happy just like I was when I was younger.”

Perhaps the most significant take-away from the Fall Into Wellness and BUnique Fair is that students and faculty within the overall Brock community should know that there are a diverse amount of resources and methods out there to help with stress, and that it’s important to relax and enjoy life every once in a while.

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