TRU’s Wellness Centre will be distributing a survey in order to assess the health and wellness of students and tailor their programs to help students overcome issues such as stress, illness and drug use.
On March 7, all TRU students over the age of 18 will be receiving the survey via their myTRU email address. The survey will remain open until March 27. Students who complete the survey are entered into four cash prize draws with prizes ranging from $50 to $200.
The survey asks questions about exercise and nutrition, sexual health, mental health, stress and substance use.
According to Chelsea Corsi, TRU’s Wellness Coordinator, the survey will take approximately 20 minutes for students to complete.
When the survey was last given to students at TRU in 2013, it found that stress, sleep difficulties and anxiety were the three factors which impacted academic performance on campus the most severely, Corsi said.
Corsi also said that students wanted information on managing these issues for both themselves and their friends.
Some Wellness Centre initiatives that came about as a result of the 2013 data are the St. John Ambulance therapy dogs that visit campus every Thursday, several physical activity initiatives and a PowerPoint campaign on mental health.
“We used the data directly from the NCHA (National College Health Assessment) and said if you’re feeling this way, if you’re feeling overwhelmed and tired, you’re not alone, here’s how we can help you,” Corsi said.
The constant rotation of TRU’s student body will make it difficult to track the effectiveness of Wellness Centre programs across the 2013 and 2016 surveys, but Corsi hopes that students felt well-informed about mental health risks.
“I’m hoping that students will respond saying yes, they have provided me information about stress management,” Corsi said.
Corsi enlisted the help of nursing students Sharon Singh, Maysie Aldana, Katie Gleboff, Michelle Swift and Karina Houston to help boost student engagement with the survey.
“We’ll have information and resources available while we are there promoting the survey,” Houston said.
Both Corsi and the nursing students expressed interest in expanding the amount of participation in the survey amongst male students, who only made up 29 per cent of respondents in 2013.
Gleboff said that the promotion of the survey was a different approach to nursing than what is usually taught in their classes, which she described as community-based rather than scientific.
“It’s a completely different kind of mindset and there are much bigger goals to it. You really have to build on the community’s strength and really see what they need, rather than just giving them stuff because we think it’s good, you’ve really got to ask them and see what they’re struggling with,” Gleboff said.
“The whole point of this is so that the students can use their voice and so that they’re heard and we can see what they’re struggling with and ensure our resources are either still effective or what we can do to improve them,” Houston said when asked why she thought the survey was important.