Experts from a wide range of health-related fields came together at the fourth Healthy Workplace Fair to spread the word about where people can seek out support – both on campus and in the community.
The theme of the fair focused on the three pillars of Carleton’s Healthy Workplace Plan: health promotion, work-life balance and mental health.
“It’s an awesome workplace fair. I’ve been to quite a few in the last five years and this is a very large one,” said Wanda Doyle, a registered nurse at the Ottawa General Hospital and the Champlain Regional Cancer Centre.
“There’s good representation from lots of areas. I think you’re doing very well. I think you’ve got lots of support for your employees.”
The key, she says, is getting information into people’s hands and events like the Healthy Workplace Fair go a long way to doing just that.
“People are interested in prevention and taking responsibility for their own health – both physical and mental health,” said Doyle.
Michel Vallee from the Family Services Employee Assistance Program was pleased to see each of the 30 booths at the fair had a health-related theme.
“I attend a lot of these wellness fairs across Ottawa on a yearly basis and this is great. What I think works well with a wellness fair is having the different vendors come together and give out information about issues that are related – mental health, EAP, general health,” said Vallee.
“This fair is superior because of the number of vendors and the topics are related, they come together and it’s the same message everywhere. It’s great.”
For Duncan Watt, vice-president (Finance and Administration), the number of volunteers and the level of engagement were impressive.
“The healthy workplace initiative has exceeded everyone’s expectations. When we started this, I had no idea that it was going to morph into an event like this. I think it’s fantastic,” said Watt.
Admissions officer Lauren Boivin volunteered at a booth with a mental health awareness focus.
“Mental health is a particularly important piece for everybody on campus because it encompasses stress and well-being. So, I think everyone needs to be made aware of the services that we have available to us,” said Boivin.
“Healthy workplace creates all these events for us and makes us aware. Healthy workplace is the one resource where you can go to find everything that is happening on campus with respect to your health.”
It came as no surprise to Malcolm Butler, the dean of the Faculty of Science, that Carleton has been sought out by other organizations across Canada wanting to learn more about its healthy workplace initiative.
“The reality is that sometimes people do need to find outlets and they do need to find help. This is a good way of making those resources accessible to people without them having to hunt or stumble across them,” noted Butler.
“It raises the awareness that the resources are there and that there is a lot available at the university to support them, and that it isn’t just around their work. A lot of what is going on (at the fair) has nothing to do with people’s work; it’s just about them as people.”