What is Thrive?

Thrive is a series of events focused on building positive mental health for University of Waterloo students, faculty and staff. Thrive is also a mindset that encourages you to flourish. We all have mental health, and we can each strengthen our mental health by learning about it, thinking about it, talking about it, and discovering new skills and resources to help us Thrive all year long.

Goals of Thrive

Increase Mental Health Literacy and Promote Resources

Mental health is just as important as physical health. Thrive endeavours to improve our community’s understanding of how to obtain and maintain positive mental health of yourself and others. Thrive also promotes available resources for students, faculty, and staff who might need support, and reduce any stigma that might exist around seeking help.

Build Healthy Habits and Self-Care Skills

Thrive aims to help individuals discover how to cope with the challenges of day-to-day life, and develop self-care skills and resiliency. Thrive promotes healthy habits including but not limited to sleep, healthy eating, physical activity, mindfulness, and social connections.

Foster a Supportive and Inclusive Community

Thrive fosters a shared sense of belonging and supportive environment on campus. The activities and events of Thrive will help spread the word that you are not alone and that our community members have shared experiences and knowledge that can help.

2019 Thrive Committee Members

  • Kalpita Gaitonde, Health Promotion and Evaluation Specialist, Health Promotion (Co-Chair)
  • Karen Parkinson, Occupational Health Nurse, Occupational Health (Co-Chair)
  • Alan Binns - Director, Police Services
  • Alayna Frey  - Communications Project Manager, Campus Wellness
  • Amanda Fitzpatrick - VP Student Life 
  • Barbara Myltschenko - Resource Assistant, Architecture
  • Becky Ewan - Academic Advisor, School of Pharmacy
  • Cassie Smith - Counsellor, Counselling Services
  • Gursharan Kahlon - Counsellor, Counselling Services
  • Jenn Willoughby - Associate Director, Integrated Communications, Student Success Office
  • Jennifer Burton - Housing and Activities Specialist, Renison University College
  • Jennifer Halcrow - Communications Specialist, Student Success Office
  • Jennifer Tabar - Case Support Coordinator, Housing and Residences
  • Katherine Prospero - Experiential Learning and Events Coordinator, Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business
  • Kierra Young - Special Events Coordinator, Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association (WUSA)
  • Kristen Leal - Group Fitness and Instructional Coordinator, Athletics and Recreation
  • Lindsay Thompson - Wellness Coordinator - St. Jerome's University
  • Mark Grant - Manager, Student Service Centre
  • Rebekah DeJong - Student Life and Recruitment Coordinator, Conrad Grebel University College
  • Retnika Devasher - Exam Centre Administrator, AccessAbility Services
  • Roman Hlavac - Constable, Police Services
  • Samantha Fowler - Peer Health Education
  • Sandra Gibson - Manager, Health Education
  • Sarah Howard - Graduate Student Experience Specialist, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs
  • Steve Prentice - Residence and Community Life Manager, St. Paul's University College
  • Tracey Beirness - Administrative Assistant, Graduate Student Association (GSA)

Read the Thrive Committee Terms of Reference (PDF) for more information about the structure and processes of the Committee.

Thrive History

Thrive builds on the success of our previous annual Mental Health Wellness Day event and expands on the foundations created by it. The Thrive week initiative was developed by the University of British Columbia in the spring of 2009 and has been adopted by more than 11 Canadian colleges and universities.The first University of Waterloo Thrive Week was held in Fall term 2018, read the Wrap Up Report (PDF) to learn more.