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Mental Health

Everyone has mental health to take care of, and university life presents opportunities that can challenge our mental health. At Laurier, you have access to a wide range of resources to both promote and maintain good physical, emotional and mental health. There are resources to help you in times of crisis, and resources to help you take a proactive approach to help protect you from mental illness, and to help you enjoy life to the fullest.

If you feel your mental health is challenged, you are not alone! The top three health factors that Laurier students identified this year as affecting their academic performance are all mental-health related. Stress (46.6%), anxiety (41.6%), and depression (28.5%) are all ranked higher than other medical concerns including colds and flu (source: NCHA survey, 2019). Knowing this, we give mental health extra attention in our Wellness Education programming.

Mental Health Training

The following mental health trainings and certificates are offered at various times throughout the year. For more information on any of the following trainings, please email wellnessed@wlu.ca
  • More Feet on the Ground is an online mental health education program that teaches you how to recognize, respond to, and refer individuals experiencing mental health issues. This online certificate is eligible for recognition on the Laurier Experience Record.
  • From Surviving to Thriving is a one or three hour workshop for students that focuses on building academic and personal resilience. Contact nreeve@wlu.ca to request this training for your student group.
  • safeTALK is a four-hour workshop that trains you to identify persons with thoughts of suicide and connect them to suicide first-aid resources.*
  • Mental Health First Aid is a two-day course that equips you to provide support to a person who may be experiencing a decline in their mental well-being or a mental health crisis.*
  • ASIST is a two-day workshop that trains you to prevent suicide by recognizing signs, providing a skilled intervention, and developing a safety plan.*

* Please note this training is unable to be run remotely, however, will run again on campus when it is safe to return to in-person training.

Interesting in requesting a less formal training? Check out our bookable workshops, where one of our Wellness Education staff members can come to your class, meeting, or join your off-campus or residence community, and run a 20 or 40-minute workshop on various mental health related topics including using your resources, self-care for students, understanding stress, and more. Students can also learn more about their personal mental health by joining our workshops and groups.

Mental Health Advisory Committee

With the goal of unifying a mission and vision for mental health initiatives across the institution, the Mental Health Advisory Committee is a collective of staff from Laurier's Waterloo campus. Collaboration on all mental-health programming and centralized communication plan encourages collective efforts, and reduces duplication. The committee can support departments who do not necessarily focus solely on mental health initiatives, but have a need for programming and resources (e.g. Residence).

The National College Health Assessment and other relevant research informs initiatives based on current student mental health needs. Initiatives include Thrive Week, Bell Let's Talk Day, and Gratitude Walls Across Campus.

The committee meets monthly, is coordinated by the Wellness Education team, and has accountability to the director of the Student Wellness Centre, and the dean of students.

Thrive Week

Thrive is a weeklong series of free events to build positive mental health on campus. Thrive Week runs every October and January on both Waterloo and Brantford campuses. Thrive is overseen by Laurier's Mental Heath Advisory Committee.

Share on social media how you thrive at Laurier by using #IThriveatLaurier.

Mental Health Tool Kits

In January 2019, Laurier launched evidence-based mental health tool kits to help students learn how to self-soothe to cope with stress and anxiety. Items in our mental health tool kits leverage the five senses so that students can ground themselves and practice mindfulness skills in moments of diminished mental health.

On the Waterloo campus, they are called Thrive Kits. On the Brantford campus, they are called HAWK Kits.

Our goal is to help students get started in creating their own self-soothing toolkit for when they are stressed, feeling anxious or need to soothe themselves. The kits also include items that promote physical activity and social connection, which are two powerful habits that can be implemented to build positive mental health.

More than 1,000 mental health tool kits were distributed free to students on both campuses in 2019. The 2019 Waterloo Thrive Kits included a hot/cold compress, eye mask, ear plugs, candy, herbal tea, sticker, toque, two-for-one coffee coupon and group exercise pass to the Laurier Athletic Complex.

These mental health tool kits could not be created without the generous donations from Laurier alumni and contributions from the following partners:

  • Student Wellness Centre
  • Wilf’s Restaurant Bar
  • Athletics and Recreation
  • Bridging the Gap
  • Students’ Union
  • Office of Student Affairs
  • Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management
  • Development and Alumni Relations
  • Bell Let’s Talk
  • Laurier’s Graduating Class of 2019
  • the Visser family

In 2016, 67.8% of postsecondary students said they felt very lonely during the school year. These donations promote physical activity and social connection, two powerful habits you can implement to build positive mental health.