This past week, Brock joined with several other universities across North America in an effort to help students, faculty and staff to improve their mental health. Thrive Week was first developed by the University of British Columbia in 2009 and since then it has become a national event in which more than 11 colleges and universities participate.
“I feel that Thrive Week is an important event as it dedicates a week to building positive mental health for the Brock community. November is heading into exams and we thought that helping students build some tricks and tools that would help de-stress and cope as things get busy and difficult,” said Julie Fennell, a Health Promotion Educator for the Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre (SWAC).
SWAC aims to support and encourage independence in students who have accessibility needs. They hope to advocate for students and provide the knowledge and resources so that they can advocate for themselves and peers. As a team, they seek to promote accessibility and foster resilience, health and well-being in order to provide students with positive, collaborative and inclusive environments.
SWAC is also joined by Student Life and Community Experience, Active Minds, and Development and Alumni Relations.
“I feel that Thrive Week was a success. We had over 650 students involved in 25 programs that promoted self-care and resiliency. The week offered a balance of activities and events that were both fun and informative,” said Fennell. “We had help from a fourth-year Recreation Therapy class and they did a great job hosting some of the week’s events. Cupcakes and Coping Skills, Colorful Minds and U R Jar are just a few of the activities that they hosted. Other events were hosted by Residence, Student Life, Campus Recreation, BUSU, Career Services, Alumni and Student Engagement and Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre.”
This week saw several events open to students, faculty and staff to participate in. Some of the events hosted include; a Residence Workshop series on how to beat stress, the BUSU Wellness Fair, an aqua fit class, a class on opening your mind with origami, a puppy room, a sock owl workshop, a pound fit dance class and a mindful garden class on how to create a study buddy.
“I attended the puppy room and the BUSU Wellness Fair and although I would’ve loved to have attended more; both events were awesome. Sometimes with school and sports I don’t realize how much stress I am under, mentally and physically, so having these events to attend definitely helps to relieve that stress,” said Katie Oberle, a second-year student in Concurrent Education. “I think that there are several times where University students are under that extra pressure, especially around exam times, and I think that Thrive Week is an amazing week to kind of combat that. I never realized how great these events were for my mental health until I attended one.”
Students and faculty have shown just how important Thrive Week is for the mental and physical well-being of an individual. With mental health being a prominent part of the new recently, even in our own community, it’s important to take the extra measures and educate yourself on mental health and wellness.
Thrive Week was established to educate, reduce stigma and promote conversation about student well-being. This past week saw great involvement from the Brock community, indicating Brock’s commitment to supporting individuals’ mental health.
To learn more about how Brock helps faculty, staff and students to develop positive mental health be sure to visit brockmentalhealth.ca or brocku.ca/swac.