Jan 30, 2023
The Healthy Campus Saskatchewan initiative was born out of a desire for post-secondary institutions to be able to collaborate, and support the health and wellbeing of all students. It includes 19 post-secondary institutes and various community organizations throughout the province. Their vision is to create healthy, resilient campus communities, where students feel safe and supported, and have the knowledge, tools, and resources they need to achieve their personal, academic, and future career goals.
With becoming a partner in the initiative, Dumont Technical Institute (DTI) created a Peer Health Outreach Support Group. Over the last few years, DTI’s Peer Health Outreach has had some amazing student volunteers that have created and delivered presentations on topics such as healthy relationships, mental health, and wellness. The group has also invited in special guests, such as “The Comeback Society”, who shared about their podcast on Indigenous excellence in communities, and a local tattoo artist, who presented on self-harm and recovery. The most recent project was a “Kindness Project for Seniors,” where all the Healthy Campus Saskatchewan programs challenged each other to hold a Christmas card writing party, and distribute the cards to senior centres.
DTI’s Peer Support Outreach Program currently consists of three volunteer students. These students are the heart of the program; without them, it would not exist. It is incredible to see and hear the excitement in the student volunteers. The program provides an opportunity for them to support each other as they work together on projects. They are also gaining self-confidence and valuable skills, and learning throughout the process.
The students work with the Healthy Campus Student Outreach Facilitator, Justin Mataverde. He provides them with an orientation, and ensures they are using credible information for their projects. As the Program Support Facilitator for the program, I follow up with the students to approve content, meet with Justin throughout the school year, and promote the program within DTI. The Peer Health Support program is one of the most important pieces in working towards promoting awareness about mental health and student wellbeing.
Our future goals are to see the Peer Support Outreach Program grow and expand throughout all of DTI, where student volunteers from each area work together to present on topics that are important to them. We would also like to have a designated platform for the program, where all the content and recordings can be viewed for all DTI students to access.