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By Sarah Stuttaford, 4th year International Relations student and Work Learn staff with the Office of Wellbeing Strategy

In this Wellbeing Spotlight, we take a deep dive into the successes, resources, and works of the UBC wellbeing community and how you can benefit from them, with this story focusing on the Residence Wellness Hub. The Residence Wellness Hub is a collaboration with UBC Okanagan Campus Wellness & Education, HaRT Harm Reduction Team, and Counseling Services that Residence Life began in October 2021. 

The program is quite successful. Nurse Nights, where students could visit the Nurse Practitioner in the evenings, received many visits. The 28 students who were referred through the Early Alert System saw the Case Manager. Students were connected to evening workshops and groups in the building, including sessions on healthy sleep habits, naloxone training and confidential drug testing. Students were also connected to group counseling sessions in the building, including topics like masculinity and mindfulness. Today, the Hub continues to offer drop-in support with a Nurse Practitioner, Case Manager, Counselors, Harm Reduction Specialists and Health Promotions Coordinator. 

To learn more about the future of the program and how it was received, we caught up with Steve Brodrick, Associate Director at Student Life, and his team.

Photo Credit: Residence Wellness Hub

1. What inspired the collaboration with UBC Okanagan Campus Wellness & Education, HaRT Harm Reduction Team, Counseling Services, and Residence Life to create the Residence Wellness Hub?

We know that wellness is a key ingredient to student success. We were inspired to embed wellness resources into our residence community with the goal of meeting students where they are at. The objective of Residence Life was to help highlight some of the great health and wellness resources operating on campus and make these services more accessible and approachable to students living on campus.

2. What are your goals/targets for the new year?

We are really excited to expand the Residence Wellness Hub in 2023 to include some new services including a Registered Dietician. As the Residence Wellness Hub is located in the same building as the Pritchard Dining Hall, many students stop by on their way to or from a meal. Starting in January 2023, students will be able to stop in and get their nutrition questions answered as well as find resources to develop healthy relationships with food.

3. What was a surprise for you during the creation and launch of the residence wellness hub?

We weren’t sure what the uptake and community reaction would be to having an STI screening pop-up clinic available right in our Residence building. We are so pleased that the reaction from staff, community members and the uptake from students has been really positive. One of the goals of this program is to reduce stigma around testing and create a culture that ensures there is no shame associated with sexual health services. Student interest in STI screening has been steady and the transparency of the location helps others feel safe to explore this as an option. 

Express STI screening pop-up clinic (Dec 2022). Photo credit: Residence Wellness Hub

We look forward to seeing what 2023 brings for the Residence Wellness Hub! Don’t forget to follow @ubcostudentwellness on Instagram and check out the Residence Wellness Hub website for updates. And If you enjoyed this wellbeing story, stay tuned for our next featured highlight! For more details about the past year’s initiatives across both campuses feel free to check out the 2021-22 Wellbeing Annual Report as well.

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We all have a hand in shaping campus environments that support health, wellbeing, and sustainability. By championing wellbeing, we can build stronger and more inclusive communities at UBC and beyond.