Guidance counsellor Susan Bursey said once a month, the school offers Wellness Wednesday.
“Just prior to mid-terms, we offered a stress management and anxiety reduction seminar to students after school,” she said.
Bursey added a variety of programs are offered, including a fitness class and a staff yoga event.
“Just anything that promotes overall wellness, and we do try to have a bit of a focus on mental health because … it is something that we are trying to be proactive about,” she said.
The after-school program came about after the school offered a wellness day last November.
During the three-hour event, students participated in a range of seminars on physical fitness, stress management, sexual health and drug awareness.
“We had a lot of positive feedback from that day,” she said.
After the success of the event, the school’s peer helping group decided to continue offering the event with Bursey helping out as a facilitator.
The wellness events are open to both students and staff at the school.
“The idea is school-wide wellness,” Bursey said, adding it’s important to have the staff take part.
“Staff wellness is very important, too. That way we feel that kind of reflects on the students,” she said. “If students see us promoting wellness and putting a focus on wellness, our hope is that they will do the same.”
She said students are enjoying the programs, and as well they can find something that reflects their interests.
“For students who really enjoy fitness, those students are the ones who will show up to the fitness-based ones,” Bursey said.
“Then just general things like stress management, I think depending on the week and what is going on, like prior to mid-term, stress is up a little bit.”
She also said the winter months can be a more anxious time of year for students, so the school offers more topics focusing on mental health.
Bursey said feedback from the students continues to be positive, and it’s hoped additional wellness activities will be available in the future.