Welcome to the Engineering Wellness Program (ENGWellness)
The wellbeing of our students (graduate and undergraduate), staff, and faculty matters! The ENGWellness Program was created to support and promote the wellbeing of our community throughout the year.
What does it mean to have “wellbeing”? The words “health” and “wellbeing” are difficult to define. In many ways, it is easier to describe the absence of health and wellbeing, than it is to describe what it means to have them.
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."
Wellbeing goes beyond the aspects of physical health to include other social, psychological, and personal aspects. Having wellbeing 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, wellbeing can be seen as a “resource” or “asset” that helps people live their everyday lives. The University of Waterloo Engineering Wellness Framework includes nine dimensions of wellness: physical, intellectual, emotional, relational, spiritual, vocational, cultural, financial, and environmental. The ENGWellness 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.
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 white, cis-gendered Wellness Coordinators and how that positionality intersects with the experiences and cultures of the students 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 Coordinators 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) people. 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
Our offices are a place where human rights are respected and where LGBTQ+ people, and their friends and allies, are welcome and supported.