TRU welcomes a facelift to a popular spot on campus: the wellness centre. On Wednesday, Jan. 22, students, faculty and staff were invited to check out the new space, which included an upgraded kitchen space, more seating for visitors, as well as a brand new low-sensory room, perfect for naps and relaxation.
Joy Demsey, the new wellness centre specialist discussed the new space at length, and said: “We’ve created a space here for students to connect and we have lots of different ways for that to happen.” Demsey added that the newest addition to the space is the quiet room. “This is a quiet room, a technology-free zone, so students can come in here and have a lower sensory area or take a nap.”
There is also more office space added, including a fully functional office for long-time wellness centre coordinator, Chelsea Corsi, Demsey and their Student Wellness Ambassador Team (SWAT). The wellness centre has 12 different ambassadors who help to keep the space open for various hours each week and help to facilitate a conversation with the students who spend time in the centre.
Regarding the centres open times, Demsey said: “Our new space is open business hours, nine to five usually, and usually staffed by an ambassador.” She also added that “some days are open until 8:30 and some are till 6 p.m., it kind of varies but basically you can say eight to five.”
The wellness centre has been a part of TRU for a long time now, with discussions of creating one starting as early as 1998 and with Corsi being officially hired in 2004. The wellness centre shows no signs of slowing down and only hopes to expand along with more programs and events to help students with wellness.
When asked about other programs, Demsey said: “We have Therapy Dog Thursdays so that’s another initiative. We have lots of initiatives that we outreach; we have programs running like meditation, tai chi, and we have seminars running, like winter blues seminars and Y Minds for stress and anxiety. We have lots of ways so you can come in or you can see us around campus to get your wellness.”
From 2018 to 2019, the wellness centre tracked 6,077 drop-ins and one on one appointments. These statistics were exclusively people using the wellness centre and not including other workshops or campus events outside of the wellness centre.
“Everyone,” is what Demsey said when asked about who’s welcome. She added that “whether you’re needing some quiet time or you just have some time between classes and want to have a little chat or just connect with other students,” everyone is welcome to come to the centre.
The reopening of the wellness centre included a ribbon-cutting ceremony with TRU president, Dr. Brett Fairbairn and treats from the ESTR market. The wellness centre prides itself on being able to partner with other programs at TRU and the community. There was also a scavenger hunt that attendees could take part in and a Naloxone training booth.
It is important that TRU has a well-maintained centre for students to meet others and destress when things get tough. This new space will be able to facilitate that and help students remain comfortable and have a safe place to go.
“A lot of stress is happening on campus and it’s a nice sort of in-between place to understand what you need,” Demsey said. “You can meet with an ambassador or if you need help we can send you to other help or if you just need a friend and have a conversation or just that warm welcoming place to come.”