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NAITSA Implements Mental Health Initiatives Among Pandemic

Image of woman sitting cross legged with palms together meditating

By Kallandra Weatherbee

In support of Bell Let’s Talk day, NAITSA put together virtual activities to promote socialization and mental health awareness for students.

NAITSA’s peer support centre hosted a school-wide Kahoot, a competitive quiz game on mental well being.

Megan Brodeur, the service hub manager for NAITSA, believes this game will bring awareness to peer support and show students what they have to offer.

“We want students to learn more about peer support and realize what they have available. Some students are harder to reach while we’re all working from home, so we thought having some sort of interactive contest would be more accessible to students,” said Brodeur.

Brodeur believes this is a different way to get students involved and aware of peer support and win prizes.

“We thought this would be a little bit different. I think people are super zoomed-out, and they’re just over being talked at or doing online events. We just thought that this would be a little bit different. It’s a way for people to learn about our program instead of just going to the website,” said Brodeur.

The top scorer of Kahoot won a $50 gift card to a wellness retailer of their choice. The Kahoot closed on Jan. 27.

NAIT also has a new virtual program for those who want to practice wellness and fitness. Lead for the new Mind+Body Connect program, Gail Rogers, said this program is designed to help students connect fitness and mental wellness.

“It’s a program that focuses on both exercise and mindfulness strategies to help reduce students’ stress and anxiety,” said Rogers.

Rogers believes this program also helps students connect and have face to face interactions.

“It’s more than just a fitness exercise class. It helps to gather students together because people are very disconnected these days, and of course even more so because of COVID-19, but it’s a place where we can gather and see another human being,” said Rogers.

The program offers three fitness classes a week for students to choose from.

“Students have a variety of classes in the program to choose from. There are options to do yoga classes as well as a couple times a week to do small group fitness training. Even in a class like that, we always incorporate mindfulness like breathing exercises and being aware of what your body is feeling like and trying to bring your thoughts back to the present moment,” said Rogers.

Each class is an hour long at different times throughout the week. Rogers said students can pick as many or as few classes as they like, but recommends a weekly schedule.

“Students can pretty much pick and choose which class they want to attend. I highly advise just committing to a schedule and putting it into students’ calendars so that there are specific times and events they can go to,” said Rogers.

Visit NAITSA’s events page to learn more here or check out NAIT’s Fitness Programs here.

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