OISE Wellness Committee
The OISE Wellness Committee was formed in response to priorities that were identified in the recent Learning and Leading from Within - OISE Academic Plan 2017-2022**.
Our mandate is to serve all faculty, staff, students, alumni, partners and friends of OISE on a journey of wellness. Our mission is to improve efforts to address the physical and psychosocial environment through support, engagement and encouragement of healthy lifestyles for our community members.
In the recent Learning and Leading from Within - OISE Academic Plan 2017-2022**, we identified Wellbeing and Mental Health as one of our focusing themes for the next five years. Our key objective in this area is to enhance the wellbeing and mental health, both individual and collective, in our local, national and global communities.
We established the OISE Wellness committee in the Spring of 2018 and have started to develop a wellness program to support the health and well-being in our community.
The initial priorities from the report include:
- Establish a wellness committee representative of faculty, staff and students to make recommendations and lead the development and implementation of the institutional wellbeing and mental health initiatives.
- Explore ways to improve quality of work-life balance for staff, faculty and students, and support healthy lifestyles through, for example, yoga and mindfulness meditation opportunities.
OISE Wellness Post-Pandemic Working Group
The last few years have been challenging and difficult but the pandemic also gave us opportunities to explore ways to learn and work remotely and be mindful about dedicating time for self-care and creating more work-life balance. Although challenging, we worked together as a community and learned to be agile as we continue to respond to our ever-changing environment.
The OISE Wellness Committee is comprised of representatives from across the OISE. Our objective for this working group is focussed on developing programs and resources to help us cultivate a culture of Readiness, Resilience, and Recovery as we adapt to our evolving learning and work arrangements.
The activities of this group include:
- engaging in meaningful discussions about the needs of each of our constituent groups as our learning and work arrangements evolve
- gathering data from our community through surveys, focus group discussions, interviews
- exploring current trends and strategies from other organizations
- learning from and working with experts, both internal and external to OISE, to develop a post-pandemic wellness strategy
- building a library of resources to help us cultivate a culture of Readiness, Resilience, and Recovery
Working Group Guiding Principles
Consult & Communicate
Our institutional community is made up of a diverse community of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community partners. Each constituent group and each member of our community have their own specific set of needs and challenges. When we consider the health and wellbeing of our community and take action to address those needs, we will always try to consult as widely as possible to ensure we honour and include as many voices as possible. In order to do that, we need to ensure our communication strategies cast a wide net to capture the attention and encourage engagement of everyone in our community.
Include & Respect Everyone
We know that every one of our members has their own history, needs, values, beliefs and perspectives. We will continue to strive towards diversity, equity, inclusion and access and actively invite the contribution and participation of all people in and through our work. The pandemic further exposed the many inequities that exist in our society and as we consider different tools and strategies for supporting wellness, we will pay particular attention to culturally-relevant, anti-oppressive and trauma-informed models.
Build & Connect Community
The pandemic has brought with it many challenges, especially a reduced capacity to connect with each other. Community and a sense of belonging help us build resilience and supports to positively impact our mental health and wellbeing. Engaging in activities to promote personal well-being and social connectedness will ultimately help cultivate the health and wellness of our community members.
Foster Resilience & Flexibility
The pandemic has taught us valuable lessons about who we are, how we work best, and what we need. We know that in our diverse community, one size does not fit all. Our community has learned to be agile and resilient during the ever-evolving global pandemic and as new challenges emerge. Being flexible will be key to surviving and thriving through the next steps of our post-pandemic journey.