Mental health initiatives Thrive at Queen’s

University District

Through ukulele lessons and conversational ball pits, a new initiative is carving out a narrative around mental health at Queen’s.

Thrive, a week-long event from Nov. 2 to Nov. 6, includes resiliency training and meditation sessions alongside light-hearted activities.

The initiative was originally created by two colleagues at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Patty Hambler and Suzanne Jolly, in 2009.

Both founders had previous professional experience in student, staff and faculty health promotion. During their time working at universities, they noticed a deficit in mental health education and set a goal to create a healthier campus environment.

According to their website, Hambler and Jolly believe while students should be supported in making good choices for healthy bodies and healthy minds, doing so will require a cultural shift involving staff and faculty.

The first event took place at UBC’s Vancouver campus in 2009. By 2014, Thrive had over 65 partners and 100 events and activities, and reached over 35,000 community members.

This year’s Thrive week, which marks the first year Queen’s has participated, had over 73 events planned.

Stress busters, guest speakers and information on mental health services were all available to members of the Queen’s community during the last week.

Thrive’s mission, listed on their website, says mental health can be strengthened by “learning about it, thinking about it, talking about it, and discovering new skills and resources”.

The week also marked the launch of the It All Adds Up initiative, which set up booths around campus during Thrive to remind students of the meaning behind their activities.

It All Adds Up, a joint project run by Queen’s Career Services and the AMS, seeks to help students make informed decisions about how to best spend their time.

The initiative asks students to consider their commitments, and the value each adds to their individual lives and skill-sets.

From here, it seeks to develop students’ self-confidence, in recognition of their engagement in activities on and off campus.  

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