University of Waterloo Commitments to the Okanagan Charter for Health Promoting Universities and Colleges
The University of Waterloo is an environment where individuals can learn and work according to their own needs, and where each individual’s right to express and present themselves relative to their religion, culture, ethnic background, sexual orientation, gender-identity, physical and mental ability is acknowledged. Waterloo is a place where knowledge can thrive.
The University of Waterloo hereby affirms its adoption of the Okanagan Charter as a collaborative framework to promote the health and wellness of our students and the broader campus community. Our commitments include a specific emphasis on mental health as part of a broader spectrum of health and wellness of everyone within the University community.
By adopting the Charter, University of Waterloo will:
- Commit to use of a health and wellness lens in its planning and to inform its policies and procedures in response to a changing world. Our approach will be:
- Holistic – cultivating mental health, resilience, physical health, social inclusion and belonging, spiritual well-being;
- Comprehensive – addressing personal development, learning and working environments, built and natural environments, supportive policies;
- Inclusive – valuing the health and wellness of the entire campus community including students, faculty, staff and other campus stakeholders.
- Commit to development of a university-wide Health Promotion and Wellness Collaborative, which will:
- Be a University-wide collaboration led by Campus Wellness with representatives that include students, faculty and staff;
- Emphasize mental health as a priority;
- Promote and leverage existing wellness programs and initiatives; identify gaps in services and supports; set priorities for new health and wellness initiatives; and work with campus partners to implement those initiatives;
- Respond to the unique needs and strengths of each Faculty, department and student group who will correspondingly share their insights and learnings with the campus-wide collaborative;
- Share the University’s experiences and best practices with other campuses and broader society through dialogue with external stakeholders regarding health and well-being in universities.
- Commit to promoting health and wellness across campus by:
- Hosting a bi-annual research and education forum for the campus community to present progress, highlight accomplishments, and learn new or promising best-practices in health and wellness, with mental health as a major area of focus;
- Developing mental health metrics and broader measures of health and wellness for evaluating programs or services and reporting on the University’s continuous progress toward improved outcomes related to health and wellness;
- Fostering innovative pilot projects in coordination with the Health Promotion and Wellness Collaborative to support and promote health and wellness, including those focused on mental health. The student-, staff- and faculty-led pilots will take diverse forms to support initiatives across Faculties, departments, student groups and the University community.