July 16th, 2024

Student Support Fair offers hand up as semester nears end

By Ry Clarke - for the Lethbridge Herald on March 25, 2022.

Herald photo by Ry Clarke Lethbridge College hosted a student support fair helping spread awareness to students for strong mental, physical, and emotional well-being.

Lethbridge College held a student support fair on Thursday with informational booths showcasing resources for support on campus.
Organizers, recognizing the impact of the pandemic on student’s mental health, looked to create an opportunity to reconnect and remind students of the supports available to them.
Carmen Guenther, health promotion coordinator at Lethbridge College, says the event comes at the end of the semester to let students know that they can access support in all areas and what has changed with restrictions lifting.
“We’re working with the theme that we want people to start building their support system. And we’re hoping to continue that into the fall […] We want people to know that they don’t have to be in isolation, or feel like they have to be alone when they’re struggling. There are so many things and people who are here to support them.”
Student Support Services looks to host a larger event in the fall working with community partners to expand the care with key groups in the city.
“What we want students to understand is that there’s all sorts of connections and resources on campus, but we also know that our community does excellent work. And sometimes it requires a warm handoff to make sure that they have the support they need,” said Guenther.
The College works with groups like the Chinook Sexual Assault Centre, Canadian Mental Health, and the Recovery College to offer wellbeing courses at Lethbridge College.
“There’s so many beautiful groups available in the community, that we want to be able to promote and work together.”
The Lethbridge College Students Association was also at the event promoting the work it does to help support students.
“It’s a nice way to communicate and engage with students. Today having all the booths has created a great interaction with the different departments we have around the college,” said Joanne ‘Jojo’ Kariuki, LCSA’s vice president of student life.
LCSA offers a health and dental plan for students along with a food bank to help hungry students on campus.
Student Support Services looks to create different supports for every student whether they need mental, physical, or spiritual needs. With many initiatives and programs students can build a strong support system that helps them when the need it.
Guenther says, “Our minds need to be able to learn these skills and understand things. But maybe for our emotional side, you need someone to be able to talk to you. But we can’t discount and discredit the fact that our physical selves need that. So, when we work with recreation services, we make sure that our students have access to all sorts of programs and initiatives.”
With the pandemic pushing most of the services offered at the College virtually, the fair was an opportunity to remind students of the human component they have missed during isolation.
“I think what has been missing is people feeling like there’s actual people to be there. And that human connection, we can’t replace it. Now we’re so excited to be able to support people back in real life capacity,” said Guenther, hoping students understand all the connections and resources on campus and start to build strong support systems to aid them through their education.

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