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Let’s THRIVE Week focuses on mental well-being

The second annual Let’s THRIVE Week kicks off today focusing on mental awareness and well-being.

The mental health awareness week was initiated last January by the OVC THRIVE (Teaching Healthy Resilience in the Veterinary Environment) student club.

OVC THRIVE was built on three main goals: to create an open and accepting culture regarding mental health; to encourage students to prioritize self-care; and to provide tangible resources to help students build resilience and support good mental well-being.

OVC THRIVE mental health resource kitThe group wanted to provide something that all OVC students could take home and use in times of need. So the week begins with distribution of a mental health resource kit to all of the students in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program, all OVC graduate students, as well as interns in the OVC Health Sciences Centre.

“THRIVE Week is a wonderful example of how student veterinarians, the College, and our partners can work together to enhance mental well-being and reduce the stigma of mental illness,” says Peter Conlon, Associate Dean, Students. “I sincerely thank and congratulate everyone who has been involved in this hugely important initiative, especially with its expansion this year to include all OVC graduate students and interns.”

The kit includes a quick reference card listing all of the available mental health resources provided by the University of Guelph with contact information, a set of puzzle blocks to keep your hands busy, with motivational words to encourage mindfulness and reduce stress levels, a handy notebook and pen.

DVM and graduate students are encouraged to participate in activities throughout Let’s THRIVE week.

  • The OCVT – One Voice Come Together wall, where students, staff and faculty are welcome to share (either anonymously or not) their personal experiences with mental health. This will open up the conversation and demonstrate that mental health affects more people than you may expect.
  • A mindfulness and meditation pizza lunch talk.
  • A How to Help a Friend workshop.
  • A Paint Nite event to socialize and exercise creativity (a proven stress reliever!).
  • A mental health panel where students and faculty discuss their personal experiences with mental health struggles and how they have worked towards recovery.
  • A curling bonspiel to encourage physical activity, teamwork, and stress relief.

Sponsorship support was received from VCA Canada, Zoetis, the OVMA Insurance Program, Omega Tau Sigma - Delta Chapter Professional Veterinary Fraternity, OVC Pet Trust and Ontario Veterinary College,

Follow along at Instagram @OVC.THRIVE and