Actions for Thriving is a project started by Simon Fraser University's Health & Counselling office to provide guidelines on how we can improve our mental well-being at SFU. Actions for Thriving identifies specific actions to create positive mental well-being on campus. These actions include:
acts of kindness
taking in the good
Each aspect provides ideas for how we can promote mental well-being – and Health Peers work on adding these themes into each of their events.
Thrive Week was a great way for Health Peers to focus on these actions through conversations. Our goal was to encourage students to focus on their mental well-being and see how small actions can be impactful.
Health Peer Experience
Some ideas that we discussed during Thrive Week were around mindfulness, self-compassion, acts of kindness and staying connected. My favorite activity was the acts of kindness idea where we passed around two packs of fruit snacks to each student and encouraged all of them to keep one for themselves and pass one along to someone else. It is a such a fun and simple thing to do but it can make someone’s day! Sometimes we forget the impact that we have on the people around us, and to make a conscious effort to make someone else’s day even slightly better can a go long way!
As a Health Peer, I get to meet a lot of different students for varying amounts of time. In these interactions I find myself learning a lot about them as they often have their own interests, hobbies, academic backgrounds and places they are from. My favorite part of Thrive Week was the third day which was also Bell Let’s Talk Day. It was amazing to see how many people joined us in conversation. When asked “What does mental health means to you?” people responded with varying answers such as “your first priority” or “being able to enjoy life.”
Even on social media there was lots of talk around mental health between different groups at SFU. These moments remind me of how social media can bring people together in hopes that – by talking about mental health – we can reduce the stigma around it.
But it doesn’t end here! The Health Peers will continue their efforts for the rest of the semester. If you’re interested in becoming a Health Peer next year, applications are being accepted until March 18!
The Health Peers facilitate outreach and events on campus to promote all different aspects of health, including mental, physical and sexual well-being. From Jan 29 - Feb 2, the Health Peers hosted Thrive Week with events designed around themes of wellness, mindfulness, gratitude and staying connected across all three campuses.