Mental Health and Workplace Culture in Population Medicine

Posted on Monday, July 8th, 2019

Written by Carol Ann Higgins

The Department of Population Medicine in OVC received a Wellness@Work grant in 2018 to provide a space with activities that encourage Population Medicine team members to see the department holistically. The program included a variety of activities to support physical, mental and social health and wellbeing.

The space and items in the space have created a hub for departmental activities. Whether it was hosting a holiday party for administrative staff which resulted in a game of ping pong, Jenga or just chatting and enjoying some treats or a ping pong tournament - this is where to come for relaxation and community. We have noticed staff interacting with faculty and graduate students - ideas are being shared, problems resolved and a real sense of belonging is being fostered. The fact there is a common space with equipment to make a simple cup of coffee or a ping pong table to take 15 minutes out of the day to unwind has had enormous value.

A Wellness Board was designed as a designated spot to offer a place to display successes, stories, inspiration quotes, photos, etc.

“Professor Deanna was an engaging and encouraging speaker; we were reminded of the power that can come from appreciating our lives, taking care of ourselves, as well as promoting ‘excellence’ in our day-to-day decisions. Participants of her session received renewed empowerment and awareness regarding how our choices can enhance our resilience.” -Particiant at wellness presentation 

What advice do you have for another department at U of G wanting to run a similar program?

Based on our success, to coin the Nike slogan - "Just do it!"

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