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Welcome to the FoE Wellness Program!

What does it mean to have “well-being”?  The words “health” and “well-being” are difficult to define. In many ways, it is easier to describe the absence of health and well-being, than it is to describe what it means to have them.

The well-being of our community matters! The Faculty of Engineering (FoE) Community Wellness Program was created to support and promote the well-being of our community throughout the year.

The World Health Organization defines health as:

"A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."

Well-being goes beyond the aspects of physical health to include other social, psychological, and personal aspects.

Having well-being includes the ability of “an individual or group to identify and to realize aspirations, to satisfy needs, and to change or cope with the environment".

From this perspective, well-being can be seen as a “resource” or “asset” that helps people live their everyday lives. The FoE is currently developing a Wellness framework to guide strategic initiatives designed to improve the well-being of our community. Information on our progress and strategic initiatives can be found on our Wellness Framework and Strategic Initiatives webpage.

In addition, in the FoE, we utilize a dimensional model approach to wellbeing. While there are many helpful models and ways to think of wellbeing, we chose a dimensional model because dimensional models recognize that people have many elements or aspects that contribute to their overall wellness. In the FoE, we utilize the Nine Dimensions of Wellness: physical, intellectual, emotional, relational, spiritual, vocational, cultural, financial, and environmental.

The FoE Community Wellness Program seeks to provide resources, support, and referrals to staff, faculty, graduate and undergraduate students to assist in the strengthening of their nine dimensions of wellness. For more information on models of wellbeing and the nine dimensions in particular, please see our nine dimensions of wellness webpage.

A joint research project between Aalto University School of Business, in Finland and

Center for the Studies of Information Resources, in China explored the impact of smartphone use on a number of indicators: academic performance, sleep, nomophobia (fear of being unavailable to mobile phones), and behaviour.

In celebration of International Hummus Day (May 13, 2024) we are honouring the amazing chickpea (also called garbanzo beans).  

Chickpeas are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are also high in protein, making them an excellent option for vegan and vegetarian dishes. One can of ready-to-use chickpeas usually costs under $2.00, and a bag of dried chickpeas (enough for several meals) is around $3.00.

There are close to 5 billion smartphone users worldwide (Statista, 2024). The average person spends 4 hours a day on their phone (Statista, 2023), and almost half of all smartphone users describe themselves as having a smartphone addiction (Ratan et al., 2022). Unsurprisingly, almost all university students have a smartphone (Huey & Giguere, 2023). In people aged 25 and under, 25% of them meet the criteria for problematic smartphone usage (Sohn et al., 2019).

As of Nov 30, 2023, people across Canada can  call and text 9-8-8, a new three-digit service, for help when they need it most. The service offers trauma-informed and culturally affirming support to anyone who is thinking of suicide, or who is worried about someone they know. While the focus is on suicide prevention, the service can be accessed for any mental health concern.

The transition from summer sunshine to the chilly months of Fall and Winter can sometimes bring a cloud of gloom. Seasonal Affective Disorder, a type of mild depression or reduction in energy, is caused by a reduction of exposure to sunlight. That's why we're thrilled to announce that the Faculty of Engineering now has Light Therapy (SAD) lamps available for sign-out!  

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Supporting a Person in Distress

Most of us have complex lives with competing demands and priorities. No matter how strong our coping skills are, there are days when the pressure and challenges are just bigger than our skills. Those moments of overwhelm can lead to feelings of distress. There are many reasons why colleagues or students might be having a difficult time. It is likely that at some point each of us will be called upon to support someone in distress.  

The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. It is the belief of the ENGWellness Program that reconciliation must go beyond recognition, and we must acknowledge that as a post-secondary institution, we carry much power and privilege.

We also understand our positionality as wellness supports and how that positionality intersects with the experiences and cultures of the student communities we aim to support. We also recognize that the holistic approach to wellness that we promote is rooted in Indigenous healing practices which further contributes to our institution’s commitment to the Okanogan Charter whose key principles include using “whole system approaches” that “value local and Indigenous communities’ contexts and priorities”. With that spirit, we as wellness supports continue to actively participate in educational opportunities to further explore our nation’s history and the rich heritage of Indigenous, First Nations, Inuit, and Métis (FNIM) peoples. We also aim to continuously examine our positionality and systems of discrimination throughout the conversations we have and the work we carry out. We encourage all of us, as a community, to do the same.

For more information, visit the Truth and Reconciliation Response website.

Map source: Adam Lewis, “Living on Stolen Land,” Alternatives Journal December 2015

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We're here to help enhance and support your wellness in a safe, respectful, and inclusive environment. Our offices and spaces are a place where human rights are respected and where 2SLGBTQIA+ people, and their friends and allies, are welcome and supported.