Wellness Classroom Visits

Wellness Classroom Visits is a collaboration between Student Enrolment Services and the Campus Mental Health Strategy Teaching & Learning Committee. It provides students with effective strategies to improve their wellbeing and academic development, as well as provide information about available resources that students can access for further support.  

 

students during a wellness classroom visit at University of Calgary

What is a Wellness Classroom Visit?

Wellness Classroom Visits are 5-minute presentations delivered by a trained student peer helper with Student Wellness Services. The presentations have been developed by the Teaching and Learning Committee.  


In-person and interactive

The presentations are designed to highlight the importance of specific theme related to mental health and academics, teach a specific strategy relevant the topic, and provide information about relevant campus resources and support. During the presentations, volunteers also share their experiences as a student which normalizes experiences with mental health and academic challenges and promotes help seeking. After a presentation, instructors will be sent additional mental health and academic resources to share with their class.

Wellness topics for Fall 2022 include:

  1. Preventing Burnout
  2. Reducing Anxiety
  3. Creating a Personal Study Habit
  4. Staying on top of your Academics: 3 Levels of Planning
  5. Practicing Self-Compassion
  6. Sleep Strategies
  7. Safer Substance Use


Looking for other options?

As an alternative to in-person visits, we can also:

  1. Facilitate presentations virtually over Zoom
  2. Provide PowerPoint slides and materials to instructors who would like to facilitate the presentations to their class themselves
  3. Provide instructors with Wellness Classroom Visit videos that they can show their class at any time

Please email us to inquire about these options at communityhub@ucaglary.ca.

Background

This project recognizes the reciprocal relationship between students’ mental health and their academics. In the most recent National College Health Assessment, 58% of students reported that academics were traumatic or very difficult to handle. In addition, three of the top four factors indicated by students as affecting their academic performance were directly related to their mental health, including stress (42%), anxiety (35%), depression (24%) and sleep difficulties (29%) (ACHA, 2019).  

In addition to being driven by this data, the classroom visit initiative was conceptualized based on student feedback provided by undergraduate interviews conducted in 2021 by the Campus Mental Health Strategy Teaching & Learning Subcommittee as part of a Strengths and Needs Assessment (Lindsay, Bernier, Boman, & Boyce, under review). Students emphasized the importance of the following key activities to support student mental wellbeing in their courses: 

  • Prioritizing mental health consistently and collectively across their courses 
  • Guiding students to relevant mental health and academic supports 
  • Promoting mental health literacy, including incorporating education on mental health into classes 
  • Facilitating connection building between students   

These findings underscore the value of developing initiatives that both support student wellbeing and academic development, which is the purpose behind Wellness Classroom Visits. The initiative was piloted in Fall 2021 and Winter 2022 and had great uptake and positive feedback from students and faculty. We are excited to continue and expand this project in the 2022-2023 academic year, with the support from SU Quality Money.


I thought the volunteers were great! I really liked their balance between the prepared slides and their own personal experiences. I am always impressed by the willingness of students to come speak to classes and the volunteers rose to the challenge beyond my expectations. I believe that this initiative has high value to students in facilitating their personal and academic development. 

Dr. Nicole T. A. Sandblom 

Interim Director, Natural Sciences Program , Professor (Teaching), Department of Chemistry 

When my professor requested the wellness classroom visit from the student wellness services, I felt a sense of comfort. It was a reassuring idea that my professor and the school cared about the wellbeing of us students. During the presentation, resources were provided to me that I otherwise would not have looked for myself. This initiative truly inspired me to be aware of my wellbeing and to proactively take care of it. The strategies in the presentations I now regularly use in my daily life, and they have immensely helped me throughout the midterm season. 

Monique

Undergraduate Student 


SU Quality Money logo

Wellness Classroom Visits are brought to you by the Quality Money program through the Students Union.