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Supporting student health and wellness

August 31, 2018

Thames Hall
Thames Hall

Western will soon house medical and counselling services under one roof. The integrated health-and-wellness centre, which will be located in Thames Hall, will offer more coordinated medical and mental health supports to students.

“Over the past number of years, we’ve been consulting with the campus community to develop Western’s Student Mental Health and Wellness Strategic Plan,” said Rick Ezekiel, interim Senior Director (Student Experience). “One of the things we hear most from students is how challenging it can be to navigate a fragmented system for mental health and wellness services on our campus.”

Donor support has been an integral part of developing a wide range of services at Western, but these services are situated in different units and locations across the campus.

A review recommended ways to improve how Western provides health and wellness services to students. Chief among them was locating a health and wellness centre at one campus location, where students can access a medical clinic, a counselling group and a wellness education centre focused on health promotion.

With a single point of entry to health and wellness services on campus, students will have one door to go through, whether they have the flu or they are struggling with a mental illness, said Ezekiel.

“You can’t really divorce physical health from mental health and well-being. A student might be seeking ongoing support for a physical illness but that need could be driven by a chronic mental health challenge,” he noted. “If we have these shared care teams and models, it streamlines our ability to identify and refer where necessary and get at the root source of poor wellness, whether it is physical or mental health.”

After renovations to Thames Hall are completed next year, the new centre will open its doors. It will also be the new home of Western’s Sexual Violence Prevention Education Coordinator and case managers.

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