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Mental Health Wellness Day

staff and students proudly wearing their MHWD shirts


To signify support for mental health wellness at University of Waterloo we create an “orange wave” every year by having students, staff, and faculty wear their orange Mental Health Wellness t-shirts.

large group wearing orange t-shirts in student life centreMental Health Wellness Day was initiated in 2009 to communicate to students, staff and faculty that we are an open and caring campus, and to highlight the resources available for mental health support.  

The three key messages for mental health support include:

  • 1 in 5 Canadians will be affected by mental illness in their lifetime
  • UWaterloo is a caring community and a safe place to ask for help
  • We have the resources to help you

Two women holding a whiteboard that reads You are not alone

A sneak preview of our Mental Health Wellness video featuring students, staff and faculty with the key message “You are Not Alone”.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 is designated as Mental Health Wellness Day at the University of Waterloo. This marks the eighth time that the campus community has set aside a day to acknowledge the importance of mental health.  We want students to know that there are a range of mental health supports available on campus and in the community. More important, we want to use the day to foster a social and academic environment that is conducive to mental health wellness. 

- Walter Mittelstaedt, Director Campus Wellness

The events associated with Mental Health Wellness Day 2016 include:

  • Sea of Orange t-shirt campaign worn by staff and faculty and student leaders to show unity for the events and the three key messages.
  • The launch of the Mental Health Wellness video featuring students, staff and faculty with the key message “You are Not Alone”.
  • Third Annual Spin For Mental Health in the SLC.
  • Post-a-secret event where students, staff and faculty can write and post an anonymous secret or message that they would like to share with others.
  • Promoting the walk-in counselling option for students that have non–crisis related mental health concerns.
  • Occupational Health promoting Healthy Workplace and Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP).

If you have any questions about Mental Health Wellness Day, contact Sandra Gibson, Manager of Health Education Health Services.

How can you help?

Wear orange for mental health

  • two women wearing the orange t-shirts are smilingWear your orange t-shirt on October 26 to show your support.
  • Share your photos of the "orange wave" on October 26 by using #uwmentalhealth on Twitter or Instagram
Order your orange t-shirt  

You can order shirts for yourself or your department by completing the t-shirt order form

Contact Katherine MacLean, Campus Wellness Administrative Assistant for more information.

Spread awareness in your classroom

We've created a Powerpoint Slide (PDF) that professors can download and use at the beginning or end of their classes on October 26. The slide reminds students of our key messages and reminds them where they can find help. 

Spin for mental health

  • Participate in the third annual spin for mental health event hosted by The Recreation and Leisure Wellness Team. 
  • Spin for mental health is in the SLC Great Hall on October 26 from 11am to 6pm. Spin sessions are 20 minutes long, with the exception of two 50 minute spin classes at 12pm and 5pm (see schedule below).
  • Use the hashtag #uwmentalhealth to follow the activities throughout the day. 

students wearing orange tshirts and riding stationary bicycles

Register for spin for mental health

Students, staff and faculty can sign up individually or as a team for one or more of the spin time slots. 

This year 25 stationary bikes will be set up in the SLC Great Hall and throughout the day we hope to beat last years record of over 4,000 collective minutes of spinning (up from 2,280 in 2014).

Please print the Spin for Mental Health Waiver and bring it with you to the session for which you successfully register.

Spin for mental health sessions

11:00am - 11:20am - Register (0 spots remaining) 11:30am - 11:50am - Register (11 spots remaining)
12:00pm - 12:50pm - Register (Spin class) (17 spots remaining) 1:00pm - 1:20pm - Register (12 spots remaining)
1:30pm - 1:50pm - Register (11 spots remaining) 2:00pm - 2:20pm - Register (11 spots remaining)
2:30pm - 2:50pm - Register (19 spots remaining) 3:00pm - 3:20pm - Register (22 spots remaining)
3:30pm - 3:50pm - Register (18 spots remaining) 4:00pm - 4:20pm - Register (21 spots remaining)
4:30pm - 4:50pm - Register (9 spots remaining) 5:00pm - 5:50pm - Register (Spin class) (15 spots remaining)

If you are unable to register for any of the above sessions, please try to select an alternative time as that session is full. If you are unable to register for any session, please fill out the following form to be added to the waiting list. 

October 26, 2016

Emergency Info

In crisis? Feel unsafe? Worried you might hurt yourself or others?