Even though Psychology is not my major at Brescia, ever since I started university I have had a growing interest in mental health and wellness. Mental health was not really something I learned very much about in high school, and when I got to university, I saw how open everyone was to talking about mental health. I learned so much inside and outside of the classroom, and the more I learned the more interested I became.
As a Wellness Intern in the Student Life Centre, my responsibilities include creating and assisting in the development of health and wellness resources as well as helping to educate the Brescia campus community on mental health and overall wellness. While working in the SLC, I assist in planning events and assist at wellness events at Brescia. During my time in the SLC, I had the opportunity to assist with the Chalk It Up event for Consent & Sexual Violence Awareness Week and button making with Sexual Assault Centre London for the healthy relationships workshop. While working in the SLC and with the Student Wellness Educator, I had the opportunity to continue my professional development and participate in Upstander Training and the Mental Health First Aid Certification Course.
It feels good, researching and brainstorming how we can make Brescia a healthier place in regards to mental health and wellness. Working as the Wellness Intern has taught me just how much Brescia cares about students’ overall well-being. In my experiences in the SLC, I have been exposed to not only mental health and wellness, but also the other five pillars the SLC stands for; Career and Professional Development, Orientation and Transition, Leadership and Involvement, Experiential Learning and Learning Enhancement. Brescia SLC has a lot to offer, and I have learned about so many opportunities/ resources available to students that I had no idea even existed.
I love working in the Student Life Centre. The atmosphere is so open and welcoming, and I feel comfortable working here with the women of the SLC. I have strengthen my skills in areas such as; resource development, writing, organization, communication, and research. I have gained so much knowledge on mental health and wellness education, as well as knowledge about Brescia and Western’s mental health and wellness resources available to students and how to navigate the system.
My favourite part of being a Wellness Intern is the freedom of creativity. I consider myself a creative person; in fact, I was convinced before I decided to come to Brescia that I was going to school to study visual arts. Being a Wellness Intern gave me the opportunity to use my creativity and has become a creative outlet for me. I really learned a lot about myself. While developing wellness resources and researching different wellness topics, I was able to test out different wellness apps and resources. The other key learning I have taken away from my experience as a Wellness Intern is learning what works for me for my own mental health and well-being. Self-care is so important! Being aware of workload between extra curricular activities, work, school, etc. is incredibly important to manage stress levels and practice building a resilient mindset.
Overall, my time as a Wellness Intern in the Student Life Centre was a transformative learning experience for me. I feel privileged that I had this opportunity. It didn’t really feel like work!
The SLC is hiring for 2017-18 academic year, and they are looking for Career Peers, Mentees for the Professional Mentoring Program, and Wellness Education Peers (*new*). There are 4 positions for the Wellness Education Peers, and these positions are very similar to the one I am currently holding. Some of the responsibilities of the Wellness Education Peers include developing initiatives to improve supportive attitudes and awareness of mental health/wellness, and developing and facilitating mental health and wellness workshops and special events. If you are interested in any of the skill development and experiences I talked about above, apply to be a Wellness Education Peer for next year! It’s a great opportunity to get involved and it is approved for your co-curricular record. Go to the SLC website to read more about the position, and if you’re interested click here to go straight to the application! The deadline to apply is Sunday March 12th.