From October 7-11, student services across the college hosted Health & Wellness Week at Conestoga campuses to provide students with an opportunity to engage in events that boosted mental, spiritual and physical health and wellness.
Sarain Fox (left) shared her story and perspective on mental health with the Conestoga community as part of Health & Wellness Week activities.
Conestoga Students Inc. (CSI), Student Engagement, Security Services, Athletics & Recreation and Student Success Services collaborated to offer a full week of activities to highlight the various services they offer students.
As a special feature, the Conestoga community welcomed Sarain Fox to the Doon campus to share her story and perspective on mental health. An Anishinaabekwe artist and activist, Fox is a passionate spokesperson for Indigenous communities using various mediums to amplify the voices of her people in hopes of creating meaningful dialogue.
The event was organized by CSI to recognize World Mental Health Day on October 10 -- an international day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma.
Fox shared her experience as an Indigenous woman and the effects of intergenerational trauma and bullying. She spoke to the group about managing her struggles by finding her truth and being herself. She encouraged students to do the same in order to move forward as a society.
“Truth is acknowledging who you are -- the real root of who you are -- with every single person you encounter,” said Fox. “Because if you don’t do that, then we become a melting pot, and the melting pot, I think, is where all of our troubles become insignificant and not real. They become labels and diagnoses and stigmas when really all any of us are talking about is our truth -- our truth in sadness, our truth in struggle, and our truth in remarkable joy and perseverance.”
Fox said that for her, the endless pursuit of honesty is the only way to move forward, telling students that as future leaders, changemakers and community members, they have the opportunity to revolutionize how people see one another and foster real, meaningful dialogue.
Other Health & Wellness Week events included a celebrity chef night featuring Bal Arneson at the Waterloo campus, a trip to the Brantford farmers market, Safetalk training at Cambridge, and a Wellness Expo at the Guelph campus.
The college’s official student association, CSI, represents the interests of students across all Conestoga campuses. Support services focus on leadership and career development, academics, and health and wellness.