Photo Credit: Dan Meyers via Unsplash
The Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre (SWAC) has adapted to offer their services online amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The resources offered by Student Wellness and Accessibility Services have changed drastically within recent months. However, our team of Health Promoters, Nurses, Physicians, Health Educators, Counsellors and accessibility professionals are ready to serve Brock students virtually,” said Sarah Pennisi, the Director of the Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre.
Students have reported feeling increasingly isolated and lonely during this time.
“Many students have lost their social support systems, making it even more difficult to cope with the increased levels of stress that the pandemic has created,” said Pennisi. “We are looking forward to meeting many new students and supporting Brock’s community during these difficult times.”
To combat this issue, SWAC has created specific workshops, resources and social media campaigns to help students obtain support and increase individual resilience throughout the course of the pandemic.
“We are very conscious of the fact that each person has experienced the pandemic in a different way and we are aiming to continuously update our resources in order to support the Brock community in the best ways possible,” said Pennisi.
Personal counselling can still be accessed during this time. Students who are struggling with stress, anxiety or other mental health concerns can make appointments by calling 1-833-276-2533 for students inside of North America and 011-416-382-3257 for students outside of North America. Urgent same day counselling is also available and can be booked through the personal counselling website.
Another service offered through SWAC is the HUB. The HUB is a peer to peer drop in service that connects students with trained Peer Health Educators. Through the HUB, students are able to obtain information about various areas of wellness, including mental health, sexual health and substance use. The service is offered virtually on Microsoft Teams every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 4 p.m until 8 p.m.
Students can also still register with Student Accessibility Services (SAS) online. SAS advocates for accessibility for students and provides resources and education for staff and faculty to ensure that students have accessibility needs met in compliance with the Ontario Human Rights Commission guidelines and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. This includes students with accessibility needs relating to their mental health. Students can register online at https://brocku.ca/health-wellness-accessibility/sas/new-students/registration/.
SWAC has also put together a counselling program that aims to assist students in improving their mental health, coping with stress and creating a healthy balance between academics and recreation. The program is called From Intention to Action (FITA) and students can inquire or apply for the FITA program by emailing [email protected].
Mental health and resiliency workshops will begin in October and details will be posted on ExperienceBU. Students can also follow @BrockSWAC on Instagram to obtain information on future events. They also post tips for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to SWAC moving their services online, Student Health services have also moved their various forms of support online.
COVID-19 concerns can be addressed from Monday to Friday by email at [email protected].
Concussion support nurse Tina Snedden can be contacted at [email protected] from Monday to Friday.
Brock’s mental health nurse Ahsley Russel can be contacted at [email protected].
General inquiries can be sent to Brock’s resource nurse at [email protected].
Heather Whalen, Nurse Practitioner can be contacted at [email protected].
All resources available through SHS can be accessed Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and alternative arrangements can be made by calling 905-688-5550 x3243.
In addition to accessing the services available through SWAC and SHS, Pennisi recommends that students take some extra time to connect with friends and family, enjoy the outdoors, try some healthy and affordable recipes and complete daily acts of gratitude and mindfulness to keep in touch with how they are feeling.
Students can look into these services further at https://brocku.ca/health-wellness-accessibility/.