Thrive Week is a week dedicated to building positive mental health for students, faculty and staff. This five-day awareness campaign focusing on mental health is offered on post-secondary campuses all over Ontario.
In 2016, the National College Health Assessment reported that stress, anxiety, sleep and depression were the top four factors that affect academic stress and one in five persons will experience some problem with their mental health in the course of year. This is a week to combat concerns impacting mental wellness and to ultimately work towards positive mental health.
Thrive Week offers events designed to educate, reduce stigma and promote conversation; members of Brock are able to develop new skills to build and maintain positive mental health and be exposed to resources that are able to help you thrive all year long. Thrive Week, running from November 5 until November 9, is hosted by faculty, staff and students at the Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre who know that health is an issue that touches all of our lives and being mentally healthy is something that should be of importance to every individual.
During Thrive Week, all Brock faculty, staff and students are able to register as a Thrive Week partner. Partners promote positive mental health on campus through planning, organizing and promoting special Thrive events.
Activities and workshops planned needed to match with the goals of Thrive Week: educating participants about positive mental health and what it means to thrive, developing specific skills used to build and maintain positive health, supporting participants’ self-care and resiliency and promoting physical activity to manage stress and/or boost mental well-being.
While acknowledging that mental health concerns are high among students across the country, Brock strives to complement, accommodate and nourish the whole body. The health and wellness of the Brock community is a vital component of their mission to develop the whole person.
Through the Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre, Brock offers mental health care services in three areas: case management for students with disabilities, counselling services and health care.
Julie Fennell serves as the Health Promotion Educator for the centre. Fennell cites mental health and wellness as integral to student success.
Individuals that participate in Thrive Week will be equipped with resources providing information about individual self-care and resiliency. Last year was the first year that Brock hosted this event, with 1,000 students in attendance. This year, the centre is hoping to surpass that number.
“We encourage everyone to participate in our week of free events. Thrive Week is a week that is designed to educate, reduce stigma and promote conversation. This week really helps students to de-stress and get back to their relaxed selves,” Fennell said. “We promote this event because we think it is one that ultimately benefits students to be successful.
Some events students can attend this year include a bonfire drop-in, puppy room, free massage, class on how to make your own stress ball, aqua fit and meditation class, nature hike, art therapy session and Speak Out event. At Speak Out, students with mental health disorders talk about their experiences in small group discussions.
Hiba Ali, a fourth year student in Public Health sees Thrive Week as a way to give back to the place that has provided her with so many opportunities. As a student in Public Health, she claims that it is her moral obligation to bring awareness to students about mental health and the supports available.
“I believe that mental health has a profound impact on many people and providing knowledge about this subject is essential. With the various pressures of being a student, fostering an environment that strives to end the stigmas around the issue is vital in bringing positively to mental health,” said Ali.
Further information about this event can be found at brocku.ca/thrive.