It's Bell Let's Talk Day
A message from Organizational & Human Development (OHD).
Today is Bell Let's Talk day and your Healthy Workplace Committee wants everyone to help create positive change.
It’s a fact: one in five people in Canada will experience a mental health issue or illness in any given year. One of the biggest hurdles for anyone suffering from mental illness is overcoming the stigma. It is the number one reason why two-thirds of those living with a mental illness do not seek help.
“The Bell Let’s Talk day is an opportunity to highlight the comprehensive approach and commitment to mental health and wellness that we are undertaking here at the University of Waterloo for our entire campus community,” said Dr. Marilyn Thompson, associate provost, human resources. “Events such as this one, and the work of the Healthy Workplace Committee, support the 2020-2025 strategic plan to be a people–centered institution committed to genuine care, concern, respect, inclusivity and well–being for all. Speaking honestly and openly about mental health in the workplace, where all employees can thrive, is a key part of that objective.”
For Bell Let’s Talk day, the Healthy Workplace committee is sharing actions big and small that we can all do to improve the lives of people struggling with mental health issues to help end the stigma that keeps too many who struggle with mental illness from seeking the help they need.
Some actions you can take:
- Take part in a campus-wide awareness campaign by capturing your thoughts on a Talk Bubble of actions employees can take to help create positive change around mental health. Build awareness by posting the bubbles in your work area. You can download the Talk Bubble and more resources on our Bell Let’s Talk! Event ideas blog.
- Take care of your own mental health. Listen to your mind and body; ask for help and take some time if you are struggling or feeling overwhelmed. You might take a walk or reach out to a friend. Remember it’s okay to not be okay.
- Advocate for a friend. Sometimes friends might not feel well enough to speak up for themselves. You can help by offering support, telling about support options or simply listening. Because when it comes to mental health, every action counts.
- Talk about it! On Bell Let’s Talk Day, for every text, mobile and long distance call made on the Bell network, tweet using #BellLetsTalk, social media video view, or use of the Facebook frame or Snapchat filter, Bell will contribute 5 cents more to Canadian mental health programs. Bell’s total donation to mental health programs now stands at $100,695,763.75.
Please visit the Healthy Workplace Committee blog to explore Bell Let’s Talk! Event ideas.
Information for students
In addition to the above actions, please note that the Waterloo Jack.org team will be hosting a talk on the afternoon of January 29 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the SLC. Trained speakers will equip audiences to spark conversations, look out for each other, and end the silence around mental health. Please encourage students to attend this valuable conversation.
University issues coronavirus second update
"I want to provide a further update on how the University is monitoring the ongoing coronavirus situation, share some important public health reminders as well as a summary of some common questions we are hearing," says a memo by Sandra Banks, vice-president, university relations, which was circulated to the University community yesterday. "A team of stakeholders from across campus meets regularly to monitor and respond to the current situation and we will continue to issue communication to keep the campus community aware of the latest developments. We are following plans and protocols already in place to prevent the spread of infectious disease on our campus."
"Our University team is receiving input from Campus Wellness, Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services, Public Health Ontario, along with the Ministry of Health," writes Banks. "According to the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, the risk to Canada and Canadian travelers is still considered low."
Answers to common questions we’re hearing
- Should I isolate myself at home to protect myself against the novel coronavirus?
According to public health authorities, the risk of contracting the novel coronavirus in Canada is low. Health authorities have not recommended that people who are asymptomatic (those who are showing no symptoms of the illness) isolate themselves at home. We have not received any information or advice indicating that avoiding public places or classes is advisable.
- If I recently travelled to China but do not have any symptoms, should I avoid being around people?
The Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China, as low for Canada and Canadian travellers.
- Should I wear a face mask if I am going to be in public?
Health authorities have not generally recommended that people wear face masks in public as a preventative measure. They have recommended precautions such as hand washing and proper cough/sneeze, which protect people from a range of illnesses (see below for more details).
- If I am concerned that I may have symptoms of the novel coronavirus, who should I contact?
Public health authorities have stated the risk to Canadians of contracting the coronavirus is low. People who have recently travelled to China or on a flight with many passengers who originated in China are encouraged to tell their healthcare provider about their travel if they become ill after returning to Canada. If you feel unwell, please contact your family doctor or call 519-888-4096 or visit the Health Services building to book an appointment.
Reminder: Coronavirus symptoms and prevention
Symptoms of this new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) include fever, a dry cough within two to seven days of infection, mild difficulty breathing, body aches, and gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea. As a precaution, UWaterloo Health Services has updated its triage protocols in the campus Health Services. As a result, Health Services staff will ask patients about recent travel and respiratory symptoms upon entering the health centre and may be asked to wear a face mask depending on their answers.
Health Services advises patients and campus to take sanitary precautions. Precautions include:
- covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
- frequent washing of hands
- avoid contacting with others who are sick
- avoid touching your face.
University officials will continue to monitor Global Affairs Canada travel advisories and will be in contact with public health officials as this situation continues to unfold.
We encourage anyone travelling to or from China to visit the federal source of destination-specific travel information that provides important advice to help travellers make informed decisions and travel safely while abroad. Currently, Global Affairs Canada is recommending that Canadians avoid all travel to the province of Hubei, including the cities of Wuhan, Huangang and Ezhou, due to local travel restrictions put in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus. You can also register all international travel with the Safety Abroad Team at email@example.com to access travel safety information, emergency assistance and access to various services provided by Anvil Group.
If you have questions or concerns, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and our teams will help to find the right campus contact.
Battle of Waterloo at the Aud and other notes
The Battle of Waterloo at the Kitchener Auditorium features cross-town rivals Waterloo Warriors and the Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Hawks tonight at 7:07 p.m. There's still time to get tickets, either online or at the PAC North Athletics Office from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. while supplies last.
The University Club is holding its annual Lunar New Year Luncheon from January 27 to 31 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Make your reservation today by calling extension 33801.
This week's update from the Centre for Career Action: See the Career Centre Events Calendar on WaterlooWorks for all upcoming student and employee workshops.
The Region of Waterloo has announced that it has reached a tentative agreement with Unifor Local 4304, raising the possibility of an end to the week-long Grand River Transit strike. The ratification vote will take place on January 30, with a Regional Council vote to take place soon afterwards.