UCalgary Nursing Mental Health & Wellness Strategy

Flourishing together in a caring community

Our faculty is the first unit at UCalgary to launch a three year initiative that will embed the Campus Mental Health Strategy into our strategic plan pillar of wellness for work and study.

Throughout the first year, an implementation committee will identify opportunities through a needs assessment to understand what makes UCalgary Nursing students, faculty and staff thrive.

During year two, we focus on putting research into practice by introducing new policies, procedures and curriculum changes.

At the close of the third year, we intend to evaluate progress and establish a model for sustainability that can be shared with other faculties at UCalgary and across Canada to follow.

Our Current Initiatives

Wellness Dog

Wellness Dog

The Faculty of Nursing’s wellness dog proposal is exploring an innovative, evidence-informed project in partnership with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. The program is intended to provide dedicated wellness support for the Faculty of Nursing community and will complement UCalgary Nursing's Mental Health & Wellness Initiative. The idea is to enhance wellness for nursing students, staff and faculty so the dog can help support our community. (Currently pending approval with the University of Calgary's Risk Management team).

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is a 2-day program that is offered by the Centre for Suicide Prevention. Thanks to the grant writing efforts of Candace Cho (4th year Undergraduate Nursing Student), beginning in January 2020, ASIST training will be offered to undergraduate nursing students (free of charge). Two ASIST training sessions of 30 students each will be delivered over a weekend every winter and fall semester for three years. Stay tuned for recruitment announcements.

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)

Currently four Faculty of Nursing instructors and two Medicine Hat College instructors are being trained in mindfulness through Derek Luk (founder of Mimentra). This training will provide a foundation for various mindfulness practices and instructors will be taught mechanisms of action in addressing anxiety and stress reactivity. They are also learning how to facilitate modified 10 - 15 minute guided meditations and group inquiry skills related to leading mindfulness practice. Stay tuned for more information regarding a mindfulness train-the trainer program.

Overview of strategy 2019-2022

Fall 2019

Needs assessment and Logic Model development

Our Goal: Measure Faculty of Nursing needs, hopes/wishes for initiative

Gather existing and new information within the Faculty of Nursing community (UCalgary and Medicine Hat College) to inform mental health and wellness strategy including needs, desired outcomes, and intervention planning.

Winter 2019

Intervention planning based on Year 1 needs assessment

Our Goal: Measure psychological wellness of community using Guarding Minds tool

Based on interventions identified in Year 1, develop, implement, and evaluate evidence-informed mental health and wellness strategies to support the mental health and well-being of all Faculty of Nursing community members.

Conduct a quantitative measure of psychological wellness of staff, faculty and students using the Guarding Minds tool.

Spring 2020

Evaluation of interventions

Our Goal: Create a sustainability plan and culture shift

Evaluate influence of UCalgary Nursing Mental Health and Wellness Initiative, the work of the Faculty of Nursing Indigenous Initiatives, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion on shifting perceptions on topics that influence mental health and wellness. 

There will be qualitative focus groups with members of the nursing community to review the results of Phase 1 and 2 surveys, to identify gaps and collect recommendations to inform intervention planning. 

Major Milestones

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