About the Healthy Campus Community initiative
With the support of the VP Saint John, Dr. Robert MacKinnon, and funding from the New Brunswick Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training, and Labour (PETL) the campus was able to hire a coordinator, Meredith Henry, to begin this project in January 2015.
Meredith will work at applying the research and best practices from the existing literature and participating institutions in the UK, USA, and Canada to our campus to create a stable and flourishing Healthy Campus Community at UNB Saint John.
What do we mean by health?
Health is viewed as a "state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease" (WHO, 2010). Positive mental health and wellness are resources that enable individuals to thrive and reach their full potential.
What about positive mental health and wellness?
Positive mental health and wellness can be defined as, "The capacity of each and all of us to feel, think, and act in ways that enhance our ability to enjoy life and deal with challenges we face. It is a positive sense of emotional and spiritual well-being that respects the importance of culture, equity, social justice, interconnection, and personal dignity" (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2013).
Why is this important in a post-secondary environment?
Positive mental health and wellness are essential for community members' success, engagement, and retention and as such, are integral to the core mission of UNB Saint John. The potential positive impacts of creating and fostering a healthy campus community for staff, faculty, and students include:
- Improved health and wellness
- Enhanced learning
- Social and community connectedness
- Success and achievements
- Collaborative community members
- Professional development
What is the purpose of a Healthy Campus Community?
To engage staff, faculty, students, administrators and community partners to work collectively towards creating campus conditions that enhance positive mental health and wellness for all. This can be achieved through a systemic approach as demonstrated in this figure:
(CACUSS, CMHA, 2013)