Helping students prioritize wellness and learn more about available mental health supports on campus – the goal of Thrive Week at Trent, a week-long series of in-person and online events.
“Wellness is an important component of student success here at Trent,” said Sarah Batley, assistant director of sport and student engagement at Trent who led planning of Thrive Week.
The inaugural Thrive Week opened on the Peterborough campus with a sunrise yoga class on November 8 and concluded with students attending a heated volleyball matchup on November 12 evening between the Excalibur and the RMC Paladins. The game was a great opportunity for students to connect outside the classroom and donations were taken in support of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).
At Trent’s Durham GTA campus, students participated in mindfulness sessions, mentoring exercises and workshops.
“Thrive week represents our commitment to provide spaces on campus to learn about, talk about and practice strategies to address our mental health needs,” said Corinn Phillips, Thrive Week team lead and therapist at the Durham campus. “Promoting mental health literacy, reducing stigma, creating a supportive campus culture, and ensuring our community is aware of the resources available helps to build resilience.”
Trent’s colleges address student-expressed needs through activities
During Thrive Week, the Colleges at Trent University came together to provide a diverse series of events across campus that met different student-expressed wellness needs.
“Wellness for some can mean something as simple and meaningful as a hearty, homecooked meal with people they care about,” said Dr. Christine Freeman-Roth, principal of Lady Eaton College (LEC). “Our college was happy to fill that space by hosting students from across campus at a Stone Soup Community Meal with chef and author Joshna Maharaj. It was so fun to connect with all the students and it gave them the opportunity to nourish their bodies, minds and hearts while considering the many ingredients that make up good mental health.”
At Peter Gzowski College, students were invited to participate in events like meditation, yoga and unique opportunities for dialogue.
“Thrive Week was a great reminder that intentional connections matter,” said Dr. Melanie Buddle, principal of Peter Gzowski College. “Some students needed a short conversation or someone to listen and it is something I am really glad we can provide from Gzowski College. We focused on speaking together and eating together - and both of these help all of us to connect.”
At Champlain College, students were invited on mindfulness walks with resident pup and therapy dog-in-training, Elliott.
“It doesn’t seem to matter what time of the year we are in; Elliott always brings a smile to student’s faces,” said Tina Fridgen, principal of Champlain College. “I think he is going to make a great therapy dog some day!”
Opportunities to destress were popular for students looking to slow down. At Otonabee College, wellness took an artistic twist with a chance for students to come and relax while colouring.
“Sometimes you just need to let go of stress, have fun and unwind,” said Dr. Stephanie Meuhlethaler, principal of Otonabee College. “You could really see the students just having a good time and enjoying a moment free from stress. Colouring pencils, healthy snacks, light music – what’s not to love? Higher education can be a lot and having quiet, reflective, and low-focus moments can help us disconnect from the stress and connect with joy.”