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November 28, 2018 2:05 PM

New student wellness space opens at Doon campus

Employees, students and other members of the Conestoga community were invited to tour a new student wellness space at the Doon campus during an open house event on November 20. The space launched earlier this month to support student wellbeing and provides a calm, quiet area that offers individual peer support, peer group workshops and private rooms for meditation and relaxation.

Conestoga College - Student Wellness Space.jpg
Members of the college community toured the new student wellness space at the Doon campus during an open house event on November 20.

Student Wellness project manager Heather Callum provided tours during the open house and said the response has been positive.

“Everyone who has come in to the student wellness space has commented on how welcoming and relaxing the space is, and how much it is needed at Doon,” said Callum. “With students juggling coursework, employment, relationships and other responsibilities, having a space to de-stress and connect with peers is very valuable. We encourage all students to drop by and let us know what they like about the wellness space and what else would be helpful to them.”

The wellness space will host three student drop-in groups weekly that will be led by peer navigator Kayleigh Hilborn. The Stress Buster workshop provides a forum for students to learn and share skills, tools and activities to help reduce stress. Another workshop provides a nonjudgmental space for support around substance use issues, and the third one is focused on anxiety, depression and hope where peers are invited to share their stories and learn strategies for coping.

Hilborn works full-time in the space and also facilitates individual drop-in peer support where she draws on her own experiences to provide supportive listening and coping strategies for students.

Another feature unique to the wellness space is the inclusion of two “recharge” rooms where students can have a private space to themselves to meditate, relax, or call a support person. Callum said the wellness space, along with the rooms, provide new supports for students. Depending on the response to these services and needs identified by students, a future step may include expansion of the program to other campuses.

The wellness space has yet to be named, but will be determined through a student voting process that closes this week.

The space is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Doon 1A107.

In addition to the wellness space, Conestoga students also have access to student wellness supports and services that include counselling services, a medical care clinic, and self-help and peer support programs.

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