NIC is celebrating Thrive Month throughout October with a range of activities to support mental health and well-being. Photo by Kim Stallknecht

NIC is celebrating Thrive Month throughout October with a range of activities to support mental health and well-being. Photo by Kim Stallknecht

North Island College Thrive Month supports student mental health

Thrive Month is taking place at North Island College through the month of October, to support students’ mental health and well-being.

Thrive is an initiative started by UBC and adopted by many post-secondary institutions as a way to celebrate community, encourage self-care and promote mental health literacy.

“The goal of Thrive is to bring students, faculty and staff together to do something fun, healthy and encourage positive physical and mental health,” said Felicity Blaiklock, NIC director, student affairs. “We wanted to celebrate our return to campus and create space for people to get together, meet each other and make connections, both in person and virtually.”

NIC first launched Thrive in February 2020 and has expanded from one week to a full month of activities, held twice throughout the academic year in October and February. Events will be taking place online and at each of NIC’s campuses, in accordance with guidelines from the Provincial Health Officer.

“We’ve had so many people in the college community step forward and want to be involved, whether it was leading an event, helping to organize, or just helping to spread the word and encourage conversation – it’s been really inspiring,” said Blaiklock.

Along with the events, Thrive Month will also serve as an opportunity to raise awareness about mental health services and supports available at NIC, how students can self-support, support each other and where to go if they need help.

“Mental health challenges can sometimes be like the proverbial frog in boiling water – you don’t know you’re in trouble until it gets bad,” said Blaiklock. “By engaging in conversation and normalizing talking about mental health, we hope students are able to recognize when things are not okay and reach out for help.”

Supporting good mental health and well-being is a priority for NIC. The College’s Early Assist referral program was expanded this fall to allow students to self-refer to the program. Early Assist provides a single point of contact to connect students with supports and get information on resources and initiatives that will help them thrive at NIC.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for students to access services,” said Blaiklock. “Mental health should be treated like physical health – regular checkups are important to make sure everything is okay.”

The full list of Thrive events can be found at www.nic.bc.ca/thrive

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