Making a Difference for Student Health and Wellness
Healthy U Volunteer shares her experiences about the benefits of the health and wellness program
April 4, 2016 – Students at the University of Manitoba gain hands on leadership experience while providing opportunities for other students to learn about their own health and wellness through the Healthy U program.
Lindsay Huska Berard is currently a 2nd degree psychology honours student within the Faculty of Arts and plans to graduate this year. Recently named an Emerging Leader for her involvement in student mental health initiatives, Lindsay will pursue graduate studies through the clinical psychology program in September. With a focus on supporting individuals to get the care that they need, Lindsay shares some of her insights and talks about the impact the Healthy U program has on campus.
Why did you decide to get involved in Healthy U?
I first heard about Healthy U from a recruitment poster. I was looking for ways to give back and get more involved on campus, as well as build my skill set for my future career. This seemed like a great opportunity to do all that.
In the interview I learned we would be working on a small, committed team, while creating our own outreach activities to educate the student population on mental and sexual health. I figured it would be a fun way to spend the year while helping others.
What did you gain from this experience?
Coming into the program I wanted to get involved with the university and give back, and I know that I achieved that. Knowing that we have helped connect students to resources they needed, and educating students to lead a healthier lifestyle, makes me feel proud to have been a part of this program.
Personally, I’ve gained invaluable experiences: great friends, personal growth and have learned so much about health promotion and health in general. The extensive training I received – everything from Mental Health First Aid, to how to develop an effective marketing message – these are skills that I use every day.
What was your most meaningful accomplishment from the program?
I think just the sheer number of students who have interacted with us in our various events is humbling. Knowing that we have made a difference in the lives of students is what is most meaningful to me.
What impact does Healthy U have on our campus community?
I think Healthy U provides students with an opportunity to learn about their health from friendly, approachable students who can understand what they’re going through.
We’ve had a lot of students come up to us to chat about general things, like what contraception options are available, and more serious concerns like where to get help for a friend with depression.
What advice would you give to other students thinking about getting involved with Healthy U?
If you are interested in getting involved APPLY NOW! We have students coming up to us all the time asking how they can join. Due to the extensive training and team building required recruitment is only open once a year. The time commitment is key, so if you can make your work or class schedule fit around the meeting times, you will be glad that you did!
Healthy U is currently recruiting volunteers for 2016/2017. Details on how to apply are available here. Applications are due Monday, April 11, 2016.
Healthy U Volunteers receive recognition under the Leadership Category on their Co-Curricular Record (CCR). Your CCR and other on-campus events and opportunities can be accessed through UMCommunityLINK.