Thriving for mental health

Last week, Laurier Brantford hosted their third annual Thrive Week event. The intention of Thrive Week is to help students build positive mental health. Originally, Thrive Week was run by Recreation and Athletics on campus, but this year almost every department on campus was involved. 

This year’s Thrive Week consisted of many different events meant to help students de-stress and plan ahead during the peak of mid-term season. Some of the events included meditation, therapy dogs, the mental health carnival, salsa lessons, hot yoga, dodgeball, pumpkin carving and lots of free food. Thrive Week also offered events like “What Next? Support & Planning” run by the DEO. 

One of the bigger events was the mental health carnival. The carnival had something to offer to everyone. There were massages from Holistic Healing Arts, gratitude beading, essential oils, succulents, yoga, custom Epsom salt jars from Bathtub Bakery, stress balls, self-soothing bags, a ball pit, snacks and some draws for prizes. 

The carnival was a great way for students to learn about businesses in the surrounding area that could be utilized when trying to de-stress. For example, Moksha Yoga had a booth where students could take a card for a free class.  

The Wellness Centre also put together self-soothing bags that included things like face masks, snacks, word search books, Play-Doh and candles. Debatably, the most important things in the bags were booklets that gave students ways to cope with different emotions and stressors such as loneliness or loss, and a card with the phone numbers of campus and local supports. 

Jodie Lockey-Duesling, Laurier Brantford’s Wellness Education Coordinator, explained why she believes it’s important to have events like Thrive Week on campus. She said: “I think it’s really important to build resiliency in students both while they’re here and then translating to when they get into their careers and workforce. It’s important for students to build resiliency, create connectedness, and learn about the different departments on campus that actually think mental health is super important.” 

Terry Khamvongsa, who is part of the Wellness Education Team as well as being a part of the Child and Adolescent Research and Education Lab Outreach Team (CARE), was one of the students that helped with the carnival. Terry gave a student perspective on why events like Thrive Week are so important. He said: “Throughout the school year students get hammered by tests, midterms, and assignments and it can take a toll on them. These type of events help students realize Laurier wants everyone to do well and is here to help them succeed.” 

Last year, students voiced their concerns about the wellness centres on both Laurier campuses. The students demanded change, and it was promised this school year would be different. Having the Wellness Centre be involved with events like Thrive Week seems to be a step in the right direction. 

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