June 21, 2024

Conestoga students now have a brand new place to go and decompress from the stress of college life with new recharge rooms at Doon Campus.

The two new recharge rooms, located in room 1A107, have plenty of different uses for students. According to the room usage guidelines, students can use the rooms for meditation, relaxation, reflection, calling someone for support, calming down and breastfeeding and/or pumping. Students can ask the staff if they can use the rooms for other reasons, but there cannot be more than two people in the room at a time.

The new recharge rooms have things like LEGO, colouring and other things to help students relax. Photo by Phil Courtemanche

Heather Callum, the project manager for student wellness, talked about why having a space for students like this is so important.

“The combination of different stresses that students are facing can be overwhelming at times,” she said. “Exams, relationships, finances are a whole mix of things that can get pretty intense. Sometimes people need somewhere else to step outside of all of that and either talk it through, have somebody listen or just get a break.”

Heather Callum is the student wellness project manager. She has played a big part in the launch of the new recharge rooms. Photo by Phil Courtemanche.

“It’s not meant for homework and sleeping,” said Callum. “It’s more meant for if someone’s feeling kind of agitated or needs to take a break from the rest of campus they can come here and just drop in.”

If a student comes to the recharge rooms looking for someone to talk to they can be connected with the student wellness peer navigator Kayleigh Hilborn.

“Part of peer support is that I have lived experience with mental health and substance use issues myself. That’s the place I get to come from and the support that I offer,” Hilborn said.

It’s a safe space to just come to talk for a bit and have a listening ear,” Hilborn added. “You don’t have to sign up or anything, you can just walk in as it works for you.”

Callum and Hilborn said that they are always open to feedback from students about the space.

“The intent behind this is that it is a student-driven space,” said Callum. “We’ll have an open house, we’ll be inviting people in and getting a lot of input around how people want to use the space.”

The wellness centre has launched group sessions, which started last week, that deal with mental health.

The depression, anxiety and hope sessions, which go from 11 to 12 p.m. on Tuesdays, gives students the opportunity to talk about their battle with depression as well as hear peer stories to learn new ways to cope.

Stress buster is a space for students to learn and share skills, tools and activities to help reduce stress. Sessions are on Thursdays from 11:30 to 12:30 p.m.

The substance use peer support sessions go from 2 to 3 p.m. on Fridays. It is a nonjudgmental space for mutual support around issues of substance use with both abstinence and harm reduction approaches supported.

Students can win $100 in Condor Cash for coming up with the best name for the new recharge space. Students have until Nov. 9 to submit their name ideas. The top three ideas will be selected and they will be voted on between Nov. 12 until Nov. 16.

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