St. Lawrence College (SLC) has formally adopted the Okanagan Charter: An International Charter for Health Promoting Universities and Colleges. In doing so, SLC intends to further embody our values through programs, improvements, and education that will directly and positively impact the health and wellbeing of our students, our people, and our shared communities.
A Transformative Vision for Post-Secondary Institutions
The Okanagan Charter: An International Charter for Health Promoting Universities and Colleges provides post-secondary institutions with a common language, principles and framework to become a ‘health and wellbeing promoting campus’ and outlines two Calls to Action:
- To embed health into all aspects of campus culture, across the administration, operations and academic mandates;
- To lead health promotion action and collaboration locally and globally.
The Charter was developed in collaboration between educational institutions and health organizations, including the World Health Organization and UNESCO, in 2015 at the International Conference on Health Promoting Universities and Colleges held at the University of British Columbia (UBC) Okanagan campus (Source).
A Guide for SLC’s Integrated Mental Health Strategy
SLC chose to formally adopt the Okanagan Charter as it served as an important resource while building the College’s Integrated Mental Health Strategy (IMHS). The IMHS is an ongoing commitment to create empowered, resilient, and healthy campus communities promoting positive mental health and well-being, supporting a culture of connectedness, safety, and belonging, and enabling students and employees to flourish and succeed. The IMHS was identified as a strategic initiative in the 2022 SLC Business Plan.
“We’re proud to join with other colleges and universities across the country in adopting the Okanagan Charter,” said Glenn Vollebregt, SLC President and CEO. “Along with our commitments laid out in our Integrated Mental Health Strategy, the Charter will help guide this work to promote and ensure the health and wellbeing of everyone in our communities.”
Using the Okanagan Charter as a guide, St. Lawrence College pledges:
- To safeguard, promote, and continuously improve the mental health and wellbeing of our community members.
- To work collaboratively across campuses and communities to create and apply wellness-related policies and programs with demonstrated impact using an Integrated Mental Health strategy that supports, encourages, and inspires a culture of wellbeing for all who study and work at St. Lawrence College.