Laurier students take part in NHCA survey about health

Graphic by Kash Patel

Wilfrid Laurier University is participating in a National College Health Assessment (NCHA) survey in an effort gain a better understanding of the health and wellness needs of students.

Laurier participates in the NCHA every three years. The survey was launched on Feb. 11 by Laurier Student Wellness. The university released the following statement regarding the survey:

“Laurier Student Wellness wants to better understand the needs of Laurier students and where we can offer support to improve well-being and academic and personal success. We are conducting a student health survey,” the statement read.

“On February 11, 5000 students were randomly selected to be invited to fill in a questionnaire. The results will help provide programs and services. The survey is completely confidential and takes about 30 minutes. You will get a chance to win a prize.”

The randomly selected 5000 students have until Mar. 1 to complete the NCHA survey. Laurier Student Wellness also held a promotional event on Feb. 26 in the concourse, giving out donuts to promote the survey and other mechanisms to provide feedback about student services.

In addition to the NCHA survey, Laurier is also launching a “Thriving on Campus” survey. This survey is a province-wide study being done in an effort to better understand LGBTQ2S+ university students’ experiences.

The ultimate goal behind the Thriving on Campus study is to create positive change in the long-run for the LGBTQ2S+ university students’ community.

Michael Woodford, an associate professor of Laurier’s Faculty of Social Work, is leading the research team doing the work behind the scenes on the survey.

The research team has also attracted the interest of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, who is now assisting on the study. Additional funding has been provided by the Tri-Council Research Support Fund and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Partnership Engage Grant.

The idea behind the Thriving on Campus survey is to increase the support from the university towards students’ mental health. The best way of doing that is to learn about the students’ experiences and how those experiences have impacted their quality of life.

Although the awareness around the well-being of individuals in the LGBTQ2S+ community has been increasing exponentially over the past few years, this survey will provide people with first-hand experiences of LGBTQ2S+ university students and the possible hardships that they have had to face.

The survey encompasses numerous aspects of the well-being of LGBTQ2S+ university students by examining how those students feel about fitting in to university culture, social pressure, discrimination, etc.

The research team is aiming to release fact-sheets from the survey, along with doing some extra interviews in the fall of 2019.

The ultimate goal behind the Thriving on Campus study is to create positive change in the long-run for the LGBTQ2S+ university students’ community.

The survey has been launched and is available for completion.

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