On August 22, Dalhousie joined more than 30 Canadian universities and colleges from coast to coast in signing onto the Okanagan Charter: An International Charter for Health Promoting Universities and Colleges. The charter represents a formal commitment to being a health-promoting university.
“Signing the Okanagan Charter demonstrates our commitment to well-being and calls upon all of us at Dalhousie to further strengthen our leadership in health promotion within our own university community, regionally, and globally,” says Dalhousie President Deep Saini.
The charter is aligned with Dalhousie’s workplace wellness strategy launched in 2021 and the university’s recent adoption of both the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, measured through the Your Voice workplace survey, and the newer National Standard for Health and Well-being of Post-Secondary Students.
Adoption of these evidence-based frameworks for improvement has prompted the creation of a new “Be Well” campus wellness initiative, a collaboration of student wellness and employee wellness at Dal.
“By introducing the “Be Well” initiative as a partnership among units and departments, we aim to promote well-being and to improve access to wellness programs, resources and supports,” says Janice MacInnis, manager, organizational health, a unit within the Human Resources department.
The Okanagan Charter was endorsed by the self-study group on campus health and well-being, which helped prioritize wellness, support and accessibility in the university’s strategic plan (2021-2026), Third Century Promise.
This commitment to health promotion follows the university’s signing of the Scarborough Charter, an institutional promise of equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility (EDIA) last fall.
“We are excited to be joining other like-minded universities across Canada that have chosen to prioritize health and wellness through the Okanagan Charter,” adds Dr. David Pilon, director, Counselling & Psychological Services, Student Health & Wellness. “Dalhousie has made great progress towards being a healthy place to study, live and work, and we want to now introduce ‘Be Well’ to help make well-being more accessible to all members of our community – students, faculty and staff.”
Plans are underway to promote the ‘Be Well’ initiative, which will include a website with resources, supports and information, so stay tuned. If faculty, staff or students need wellness support, please contact BeWell@dal.ca.
comments powered by Disqus