The University of Toronto Mississauga’s Health and Counselling Centre (HCC) held its third Be Well UTM Fair last week, which included a host of virtual talks and workshops. While the fair had free snacks and goodies at workshops and speeches in previous years, the HCC organized the event differently this year to accommodate to the virtual platform.
Each day of the fair consisted of six sessions, which were Resource Spotlight, Wellness Talk, Wellness Workshop, CCR Community Café, and exclusive fitness classes and consultations. Students participating in two sessions were given the opportunity to receive a $10 UTM Food Court gift card, while those who participated in three sessions received co-curricular record (CCR) credits in addition to the gift card. Attendees will be able to redeem their UTM Food Courgiftcards and credits in October, once the HCC verifies their Virtual Event Passports.
The Resource Spotlight sessions highlighted mental health and wellness resources within UTM. The sessions also provided a listing of various health clinics and counselling centres in Mississauga, as well as other cultural and community services.
During the week-long fair, students could also participate in the daily scheduled creative activities via the Wellness Workshops. With activities like creative writing, making homemade jam, and meditation techniques, the workshops aimed to encourage self-care and self-expression.
An hour was set aside each day for the CCR Community Café, which provided a space where participants could mingle with other attendees and share health and wellness tips. Moreover, the fitness classes and consultations encouraged participants to move around in their homes with guided exercise sessions and conditioning workouts.
The Wellness Talk, held each day at noon, had a faculty speaker from different departments at UTM. On Thursday’s session, a special keynote speech was delivered by Kanwer Singh, betterknown by his stage name Humble the Poet. A Globe and Mail bestselling author with close to halfa million followers on Instagram, Singh is a hip-hop artist and spoken word creative from Toronto.
Singh is known for his interest in mental health and wellness through his poetry and delivered an uplifting talk on resilience and self-awareness at the fair.
“We want to rely on everyone else to have the answers. [But,] the truth is, everybody is winging it, everybody is trying their best,” said Singh. “Nobody is an expert on you, what you need, and where you need to go, more so than you. You can take everybody’s opinion, but you have to see what connects with you. I’m really big on trusting who you are.”
Although the annual Be Well UTM Fair only lasted a week, students can engage in HCC wellness activities and resources throughout the academic year thanks to the new Wellness at Home initiative. The program’s weekly schedule includes Mindful Monday: Mindfulness Meditation, Together Tuesday, Wellness Wednesday: Wellness 101 Workshops, Self-care Thursday, and Foodie Friday. All the listed workshops are held via Zoom and are available on a drop-in basis, but registration is strongly recommended. As the semester kicks into full gear, students are encouraged to reach out and take advantage of these free resources available through the HCC.