Not OK? That’s OK!
That’s the reassuring message 75 third-year Public Health students are spending an entire course driving home.
Through the recently-launched Cope Care Connect campaign, the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences students are aiming to provide their peers with a feeling of hope during what may be a challenging time.
“We learned that 93 per cent of Brock students felt overwhelmed by university life,” said Meghan Robinson, who is in the Program Planning and Evaluation course of the Public Health program.
The campaign is focused on raising awareness and providing resources to help combat high levels of stress.
Robinson has paired with fellow classmates Gina Del Fabbro, Kevin Browne-Gretzinger and Jessica Miller to form one of 20 committees aimed at improving student resilience through positive self-talk, mindfulness, affirmations and visualizations.
“We’re helping to transform the way we communicate with ourselves,” Miller said.
“When we’re presented with challenges, we’re quick to beat ourselves up about it, but what’s really important here is that you need to be a good friend to yourself,” added Browne-Gretzinger.
For the past two weeks, the committee has been engaging people at the Student Alumni Centre through Post-It notes of encouragement and optimism. Hundreds of these colourful self-written notes now blanket the walls outside of the Health Hub for passersby to see.
“We hope that when people see them, they feel a sense of relief knowing they’re not alone in their struggles,” said Del Fabbro.
Professor Kelli-an Lawrance implemented Cope Care Connect into the course three years ago to allow students to gain valuable experience in the health field.
“A course like this teaches students how to plan, implement and evaluate health initiatives by reaching out directly to the community,” she said.
“It allows them to apply what they’ve learned while also helping their fellow peers.”
Her students couldn’t agree more.
“Experiencing this first hand is different from just learning it in the classroom because we get to see this campaign through its preparation stages all the way to assessing the impact it made,” Robinson said.
The way students react when they learn about Cope Care Connect “really shows that health promotion is important in helping to change and influence a healthier lifestyle,” Browne-Gretzinger said.
The campaign continues this week with more notes, classroom talks and the distribution of survival guides to the Brock community.