Sheridan Student Union supports student health with $430,000 gift
Sheridan’s Student Union (SSU) is supporting student wellness through a gift of $430,000 to support two health promotion specialists – staff dedicated to developing programs and resources that proactively address health and wellness for all students at Sheridan
The gift comes just two months after another landmark donation from the Student Union to support scholarships and bursaries. SSU President Kyle Budge says making a gift now to support the health promotion specialists is a natural progression that builds on SSU’s commitment to address student needs in all areas of their well-being – whether that’s financial, physical, or mental health.
“The SSU and the health promotion specialists have been working together on many projects that benefit both our initiatives and the College’s. By ensuring these positions continue, we hope to provide an opportunity for growing our wellness resources and supports that are available to the Sheridan community,” says SSU President, Kyle Budge. “Additionally, we hope to establish a system of wellness that extends throughout the college community and fosters a healthy and supportive environment at Sheridan. I am personally looking forward to continuing our work together and I am excited to see what great things we can accomplish.”
The health promotion specialists initially began their work in 2019 and SSU’s support now ensures their work and focus on wellness will continue throughout every milestone of a student’s journey at Sheridan – from the moment they accept their offer to attend, through their pivotal first year, and then right up until graduation.
Over the past two years, the teams have collaborated on initiatives like the Pardesi Project, which created a series of translated videos to increase mental health literacy and help-seeking behaviour for South Asian international students, Thrive Week, and the Sheridan Talks Mental Health series. They also helped form essential parts of Sheridan’s Community Wellness Strategy.
In 2020, SSU collaborated with the health promotion specialists to create the eight dimensions of wellness – providing access to wellness resources that address student well-being holistically, from emotional and physical health to financial and environmental wellness. This partnership is a critical support from the whole system’s approach taken in Sheridan’s Community Wellness Strategy and it has led to the creation of a number of helpful supports and workshops for students to engage with throughout the year.
Maria Lucido Bezely, Dean of Students at Sheridan, says SSU’s gift will now provide the continuity to further develop and implement creative, inclusive and accessible wellness programming that meets student needs and addresses barriers to seeking help.
“I want to thank SSU for this gift to support student health and wellness at Sheridan. Focusing on proactive health promotion will ensure we can take an upstream, culturally sensitive and accessible approach to cultivate wellness early on for students to help prevent crises later on and provide students with the resources they need to thrive at Sheridan, and beyond,” says Lucido Bezely.
As Sheridan’s campuses re-open to more in-person activities, much of the work will include both in-person and virtual activities. Students can learn more about the resources available on Sheridan Central, or visit the SSU’s website for additional resources.
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