Laurier holds its first mental health thrive week
Oct. 23 marked the first day of this year’s Thrive Week hosted by the Laurier Student Wellness Centre on the Waterloo campus.
The week kicked off with a mental health resource fair in the concourse and will be hosting more events throughout the week.
The Wellness Centre has collaborated with other partners on campus to bring events to students that range from workshops to workout classes and other enjoyable activities.
Thrive Week features events that focus on building positive mental health on campus and is free to all undergraduate and graduate students.
Thrive week is new to Laurier and began at the University of British Columbia. Thrive has since been adopted by many other universities who have held their own events in support of mental health illnesses.
The main focus of events on the Laurier campus is to take time for self care while also working on student’s skill building.
“Having Thrive Week is just one more opportunity to reach students in a new way to tell them how important it is to take care of their mental health and de-stigmatize asking for help,” Sarina Wheeler, the wellness education coordinator for the Waterloo campus, said. “And to show that mental health can be improved with care and skill building.”
“We really hope Laurier students will invest time in themselves to focus on their mental health because we want students to not just survive at University but thrive.”
Workshops will focus on resilience, emotional regulation, self-care and other training that can help students with their mental health.
Cultivating Calm is one of the featured workshops and will be led by Mike Masse, a holistic therapist who specializes in mindfulness techniques for youth and adults experiencing stress and anxiety. This event will take place on Thursday Oct.26 at 1:30 p.m.
Fun activities will also be available for students such as Chocolate Art Therapy on Oct. 27 at 11 a.m. and Chilling with Dogs on Oct. 25 at 12 p.m.
“We just hope it’s an event that students report they received some enjoyable activities [from] so they could relax and have some fun. That’s an important part of mental health too, and also to learn some new skills that they can apply to take care of themselves and also each other,” Wheeler said.
By creating a balance between light-hearted and more informative programming, the Wellness Centre hopes to encourage students to join in on the activities while also showing them the resources that are available at Laurier.
“Everybody is showing concern and care for the mental health of students, you see it all across campus,” Wheeler said. “I think Laurier is a place where students are deeply cared about and hopefully students feel that care.”
The Wellness Centre felt it was important to dedicate a week to building positive mental health, as students’ mental health is a priority at Laurier. Thrive week is aimed to target stress relief during a time when students’ academics may be more strenuous than usual.
“We really hope Laurier students will invest time in themselves to focus on their mental health because we want students to not just survive at University but thrive,” Wheeler said.