By Marlene Dong on October 28, 2019
Supporting the mental health of faculty, staff and students has long been an important priority for UBC. Mental health literacy and action are key focuses in the Focus on People 2025 framework and Wellbeing Strategic Framework.
Thrive is just one of the many mental health initiatives at UBC, and 2019 marks 10 years of Thrive at UBC. What started as a conversation between colleagues about the importance of reducing stigma associated with mental health has since grown into a movement celebrated across Canada. This year, Thrive is hosting a month-long series of events at UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan. It’s an opportunity for all faculty, staff and students to enhance their mental health literacy and boost their mental health. Here are some ways you can champion mental health and wellbeing in your UBC workplace in November and all year long.
Thrive (Nov. 1-30):
- Use the Thrive 5 to build mental health in the workplace
- Attend a Thrive event, including the free spin class, kick-off event at the Student Recreation Centre on Nov. 1. Saje Wellness will also be hosting wellness activities for those who prefer not to spin.
- Access mental health resources
Not Myself Today (Nov. 1-30):
Many departments and units across the university will be taking part in Not Myself Today, a national workplace mental health initiative that helps to build greater awareness, reduce stigma and foster safe and supportive cultures. Learn more about the UBC-wide mental health resources available to help support your workplace conversations and initiatives and to promote wellbeing among colleagues and teams.
30-Day Online Mindfulness Challenge (Nov. 1-30):
Encourage your workplace and colleagues to register for the next Mindfulness Challenge. The program is free and open to all UBC staff, faculty and postdoctoral fellows in Vancouver and the Okanagan. It is a great team-building activity and a simple way to introduce mindfulness as a way to help reduce stress, gain perspective and increase resilience at work and in life. Visit the 30-Day Online Mindfulness Challenge page to learn more and to download a printable poster for your department.
Thank you for supporting UBC’s efforts to help everyone thrive.
By Marlene Dong on January 18, 2019
On Jan. 30, let’s talk about mental health. Bell Let’s Talk Day is an opportunity to join a national conversation about mental health challenges and help reduce the stigma around mental illness.
UBC is committed to building mentally healthy workplaces where all employees can thrive – and we all have a part to play. Our ability to live, learn, work and support one another at UBC depends on our mental health and resilience. Bell Let’s Talk Day is one of the ways we encourage UBC faculty, staff and students to think about mental health, to reach out to one another and connect with the resources, services and supports available at UBC and in the broader community.
Here are five simple ways you can support mental health at UBC*:
- Learn about the mental health supports available.
- Find out how you can help a colleague in distress or help a student in distress.
- Register for a mental health training program or workshop at UBC Vancouver.
- Use Early Alert to share concerns about students.
- Find out if your workplace has a Wellbeing Liaison – there are over 70 on the Vancouver campus who focus on supporting student wellbeing! If your department/unit doesn’t have a Liaison, consider becoming one.
* Available at UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan unless otherwise noted.
End the stigma around mental illness
One in five Canadians will suffer from mental illness at some point in their lifetime. One of the biggest hurdles for anyone suffering from mental illness is overcoming the stigma. It is the number one reason why two-thirds of those living with a mental illness do not seek help.
Bell Let’s Talk offers 5 simple ways to help end the stigma that keeps too many who struggle with mental illness from seeking the help they need:
- Language matters
- Educate yourself
- Be kind
- Listen and ask
- Talk about it
Get involved with Bell Let’s Talk Day at UBC
- Jan. 25 (7:00 p.m.): Attend the Bell Let’s Talk Women’s Hockey Game, UBC vs. Saskatchewan at Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre (UBC Vancouver)
- Jan. 30: Visit one of the many Bell Let’s Talk booths hosted by the Wellness Peers and student leader groups all over campus (UBC Vancouver)
Thank you for supporting Bell Let’s Talk Day and for contributing to a safe, healthy and respectful community at UBC.
About Bell Let’s Talk Day
Bell Let’s Talk is a charitable program dedicated to the promotion and support of mental health across Canada. Since 2010, Bell has committed to donate at least $100 million to support a wide range of mental health organizations, large and small, from coast to coast focusing on anti-stigma, care and access, workplace mental health and research. Annually, on Bell Let’s Talk Day, Bell donates 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for each engagement on social media.
By Marlene Dong on April 9, 2018
UBC has received the 2018 Platinum Extra Mile Award, the highest honour given by the Canadian Cancer Society to recognize outstanding work in workplace health and wellness. UBC was commended for its commitment to employee health and for using a variety of strategies and approaches to collectively support UBC workplace environments. In particular, UBC earned high praise for its holistic focus on workplace wellbeing. The UBC model of embedding health and wellbeing – from the organizational level through Focus on People to employee groups and individuals – was seen as unique and reinforced UBC’s reputation as a leader in the area of sustainable workplace health and wellbeing.
“Thank you to all our colleagues and long-standing UBC partners at the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses who continue to contribute meaningfully to a supportive, respectful and healthy work environment at UBC,” said Natasha Malloff, Director of Health, Wellbeing & Benefits, UBC Human Resources. “This award is a timely recognition as wellbeing has emerged as an institutional priority, one that builds on existing strategic priorities and practices. We’ve seen significant growth in collaboration across portfolios, faculties and units, and we’ll continue our collective, strategic, holistic efforts to make UBC a place where individuals can flourish.”
At a special ceremony on March 28, 2018, UBC HR’s Workplace Wellbeing Strategist Crystal Hutchinson and Health & Wellbeing Associate Melissa Lafrance accepted the award on UBC’s behalf. UBC was among 14 finalists at the Gold level which included Thompson Rivers University, RBC, Telus and ICBC. Due to the calibre of nominees, a Platinum level was created and UBC became the inaugural winners of the award.
About UBC HR and Wellbeing at UBC:
UBC Human Resources recognizes the foundational importance of wellbeing. As one of the first universities in the world to adopt the Okanagan Charter, UBC is committed to being a health-promoting university, the type of institution that excels in teaching, learning and research, and recognizes that excellence is rooted in the sustainable wellbeing of people, places, and the planet.
About the Canadian Cancer Society Extra Mile Awards:
The Extra Mile Awards were created by the Canadian Cancer Society to recognize the hard work and effort of workplaces committed to building strong workplace wellness programs. Now in its third year, the awards program empowers workplaces to focus on the health and wellness of their employees. For more information, visit www.healthywork.ca.