Cheri Bilitz named Director, Counselling Services
A message from Campus Wellness.
Campus Wellness is pleased to announce that Cheri Bilitz, MSW, RSW is the successful candidate for the position of Director, Counselling Services. The position became vacant after the transition of the long-term director, Dr. Tom Ruttan, to the new part-time role of Senior Advisor, Student Services. Bilitz has graciously filled in as interim director, counselling since September 2019.
Cheri has been with the University since 2015 when she accepted the Associate Director, Counselling Services role. Prior to joining the University, she was Clinical Director at Stonehenge Therapeutic Community. She has a Master's degree in social work from Wilfrid Laurier University and continues to pursue her PhD in social work on a part-time basis. In addition to her accomplishments as a leader in the mental health field, Bilitz is also a talented psychotherapist who has helped many students and community members over the years of her career. She has overseen many positive changes in our response to the evolving mental health needs of the student population including introducing the walk-in and single session service to Counselling Services. She has been an active participant on the University’s student mental health initiatives, including serving as a member of the Committee on Student Mental Health (CoSM).
As a result of her calm and thoughtful leadership style, Bilitz has established credibility in her role on the Counselling Services team, and she certainly has become a valued member of the Campus Wellness senior management team.
Please join us in congratulating Cheri on this appointment.
Registration open for virtual conference on student mental health research
A message from the Committee on Student Mental Health.
On Thursday, November 5, the University of Waterloo community is invited to join the Committee on Student Mental Health (CoSMH) at UWaterloo’s inaugural Virtual Conference on Student Mental Health Research. The goal of this event is to bring together members of our campus community to share knowledge, connect researchers, and promote mental wellness through presentations, posters, and interactive Q&A sessions. Topics broadly pertaining to student mental health will be explored with an emphasis on the following key themes:
- Prevention of mental health issues and promotion of mental health-care strategies;
- Suicide prevention;
- Equity and wellness;
- Harm reduction approaches to substance use; and
- Mental health impact of COVID-19.
Attend this conference to learn more about what our faculty, staff, and student colleagues are researching. Student posters will also be featured online ahead of time on the CoSMH website, and poster presenters will be available for an interactive Q&A period during the day.
Please register to attend the conference.
United Way Charitable Spotlight: KW Counselling
By: Nora Emtesali, United Way Campaign Coordinator. This is an excerpt of an article published on the Go Red website.
KW Counselling Services is a multi-service agency in Waterloo Region, providing therapeutic counselling services to individuals, couples, and families. In 2019 alone, they provided 13,896 hours of counselling to 5,818 clients; meaning this service is in high demand.
What does KW Counselling Services do for Waterloo Region?
During an interview with Scott Williams, the Communications and Development Coordinator at KW Counselling Services, he explained how his organization provides a large variety of programs to our community - such as their seasonal Parenting with Passion courses and workshops, their OK2BME program for LGBTQ2+ youth, and even providing businesses with cultural competency training, as well as training on LGBTQ2+ issues and crisis management.
The Parenting with Passion program has been running courses and seminars for many years, helping parents to find and embrace the delights of raising their children, with positive parent attitudes and healthy parent-child relationships. Every year they continue to improve their courses to ensure they're as relevant as possible. Scott explains, “each season we provide a different slate of multi-week courses, full-day seminars, or single evening workshops,” which adds to the demand for KW Counselling’s services. Over 400 people attended the Parenting with Passion workshops in 2019.
Their OK2BME public education program is designed to help combat homo/bi/transphobia. To accomplish this, KW Counselling Services offers a course of advanced clinical fundamentals for health care professionals who work with LGBTQ2+ individuals. They also consult with businesses to enhance inclusivity within their organization.
Test of the campus emergency communication system set for October 28
A message from Information Systems & Technology (IST).
A test of the University’s emergency communication system is scheduled for Wednesday, October 28 at 11:00 a.m. Test activation and deactivation messages will be sent using the below channels:
- Tweets to @UWaterloo and @WatSAFEapp
- WatSAFE mobile app
- The ‘WatSAFE Desktop Notification’ on-screen pop-up for desktops and laptops
- Portal alerts and push notifications
In the event of a real emergency during this test, please contact Police Services at 519-888-4911, or ext. 22222.
Be sure to install the WatSAFE app on your device and WatSAFE Desktop Notification tool on your desktop/laptop to receive this test message, and more importantly, to stay informed of campus emergency situations. Visit the WatSAFE website for more details.
Take your kids to (virtual) work day is coming up and other notes
"Calling all employees with children in grade 9 - the University of Waterloo is pleased to announce its participation in The Learning Partnership’s national Take Our Kids to Work Day on Wednesday, November 4," says a note from Marketing and Undergraduate Recruitment (MUR).
"We hope you’ll take part by including your grade 9 student in the day’s events. This year will include virtual activities featuring a look at a variety of workplaces and interactive panels from Waterloo employees and Waterloo students."
If you’re planning to participate, please register by Friday, October 30.
The Friday prayer space located in Federation Hall has been extended until December 18, according to a note from Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion. "Following public health regulations and guidelines, the space hosts three prayer times each Friday and is accessible.
- Everyone attending must have their own prayer mat, be wearing a mask, and remain 6 feet apart;
- These sessions are open only to Waterloo campus community members; and
- Students, faculty and staff can access the space through the main entrance facing Ring Road, which has an automated door and ramp.
Available times are Fridays at 12:30 p.m.; 1:30 p.m.; and 2:30 p.m.
"Continued gratitude and thanks to Drs. Elmasry, Tarek, Eihab, Wasem, and Ayman, who will be leading these sessions," says the note from HREI. "Please note, should public health recommendations change at any time, the prayer space may not be available for in-person prayer."
Students, staff, and faculty are invited to get their influenza vaccination through Health Services. "The change of seasons often brings an influenza outbreak," says a message from Health Services. "Although influenza activity generally peaks around January, it takes the body about two weeks after vaccination to develop antibodies that will protect against influenza virus infection. For that reason, it's important to get vaccinated before the seasonal outbreak, especially if you fall into the high risk category."
The flu immunizations are available to students, staff, and faculty by appointment only starting November 9, 2020. To book an appointment please call 519-888-4096.