At UBC, we know that increased wellbeing leads to deeper learning, higher productivity, and a stronger sense of connection—all of which help create happier, healthier communities.
Supporting the wellbeing of our community members is very important to me personally. Exactly 3 years ago, I was proud to take part as UBC became one of the first universities in the world to adopt the Okanagan Charter: An International Charter for Health-promoting Universities and Colleges in 2016.
The launch of our Wellbeing Strategic Framework is an opportunity for us to strengthen our commitment to the Charter’s calls to action to embed wellbeing across our university culture and lead health-promotion action and collaboration locally and globally.
Now I ask each of you to join me in helping UBC become a health- and wellbeing-promoting university by seeking opportunities to work with each other, the community, and government to advance this important priority.
UBC’s leadership is committed to:
- Implement actions that promote wellbeing in the 6 priority areas of the Wellbeing Strategic Framework: Built & Natural Environments, Food & Nutrition, Mental Health & Resilience, Physical Activity, Social Connection, and Collaborative Leadership.
- Continue to invest resources into strategic supports for faculties, administrative units, and our community to facilitate UBC-wide action on wellbeing.
- Evaluate and report on outcomes through annual reporting.
- Collaborate with community members to embed wellbeing into organizational plans, including academic and operational policies, practices, workplans, and everyday decision making.
- Convene conversations and share best practices across Canadian and international campuses.
One way that I am committed to the wellbeing of our community is by promoting mental health literacy on our campuses. This year, we are celebrating 10 years of Thrive at UBC with a month of events and initiatives aimed at fostering and maintaining mental health. I hope that each of you will take this opportunity to explore your path to mental health, attend Thrive events, reach out if you need help, and continue to have important conversations about mental health.
This November we are also launching a brand new appeal for student wellbeing called “Change Starts at Breakfast”.
We will be asking our alumni, donors, faculty, staff, and the general public to donate $10 which buys a student a breakfast and contributes to a new student wellbeing fund.
The campaign will wrap up with breakfast Friday, November 22 from 7:30 to 10:00 am in the UBC Life Building on the Vancouver campus. Hope to see you there!
Our university is not just a place, it is our people—their success is UBC’s success. By promoting their wellbeing, we promote their excellence. That is why we must do this together—across the university, for everyone, by everyone—to ensure that all our people, places, and communities can flourish.
Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor