Supporting Student Wellness: De-Stressing Initiatives at Memorial University Libraries

Rose, Crystal and Godfrey, Krista and Rose, Kathryn (2015) Supporting Student Wellness: De-Stressing Initiatives at Memorial University Libraries. Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research , 10 (2). pp. 1-21. ISSN 1911-9593

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Student mental health and wellness is a critical issue facing institutions of higher education across Canada. Mental illness is predicted to be the leading cause of disability at Canadian universities. This article looks at recent data on how mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, and depression are affecting academic performance. There is a growing consensus amongst university administrators that student mental health is a campus-wide responsibility. Providing students with healthy and positive methods of relaxing and coping with stress is another way that libraries can support learning and academic success and contribute to a campus culture that is supportive of wellness. Two branches of Memorial University Libraries in Newfoundland, the Queen Elizabeth II (QEII) and Grenfell Campus library, have undertaken initiatives, partially through partnering with the university’s Student Services department, to help decrease students’ anxiety levels during the particularly stressful end of semester. These include extended hours, yoga and mindfulness, pet therapy, micro-breaks, and free hot beverages and snacks. Both branches surveyed students to obtain feedback on these initiatives and determine what impact students felt the initiatives had on their stress levels. These events also garnered positive exposure in both social and local media and provided a great promotional opportunity for the libraries.

Item Type: Article
Item ID: 11832
Department(s): Memorial University Libraries
Date: 2015
Date Type: Publication

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