Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

Search form

Advancing employee wellness, expanding services, and kicking off well-being programming

Photo by Gerhard Pratt, first place winner of the annual Thrive Photo Contest.
Photo by Gerhard Pratt, first place winner of the annual Thrive Photo Contest.

At Queen’s, the need for employee-focused wellness services has heightened significantly during the pandemic. To respond to this growing need and demand for such services, and to better support employee well-being, Human Resources is launching a new Employee Wellness Services unit with dedicated resources to advance this work. This new unit is made possible through the ongoing investment and commitment from the Office of the Principal.

“I am pleased to be able to support this expansion of employee-focused wellness services,” says Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane. “Without a healthy workforce, we cannot advance our mission or achieve our vision and strategic goals as a university.”

In the coming months, the new unit will focus on the development of employee wellness resources and services that compliment current offerings. The unit will also be expanding with additional wellness positions to better support this work.

“For the first time, we are able to approach employee wellness in a coordinated and strategic way,” says Sydney Downey, Director, Employee Wellness Services, Human Resources. “This is a really exciting and positive step for the university and an opportunity for us to do critical work that will have a lasting impact.”

The unit’s first task will focus on building momentum from recent wellness events while developing a year-round approach to employee wellness.  

Marking the first of many wellness-focused events

Earlier this fall, several virtual wellness events and learning opportunities were held as part of Thrive programming and were available for the university community. In total, 30 events were offered Nov. 1-5, with nearly 500 registered participants in attendance including staff, faculty, and students.

Some of the popular events included keynote speaker Janice Brant from the Ratinenhayén:thos Kenhte:ke Seed Sanctuary and Learning Centre, as well as a virtual tour of the Bader International Study Centre (BISC).

A number of contests were also held during the kickoff with several awards going to deserving participants:

  • Motolani Lawson, winner of the scavenger hunt
  • Victoria Klassen, winner of the walk and roll challenge
  • Gerhard Pratt, Curt McMahon, and Jessica Johnston placing first, second, and third respectively in the annual Thrive photo contest

If you participated in any of the Thrive events, the organizers want to hear from you. All participants are invited to submit their feedback by completing a brief online survey. The results from the survey will be reviewed by the Employee Wellness Services unit and will help shape future wellness events and opportunities. The survey closes Jan. 31, 2022.

Other support resources for the Queen’s community and their family members can be found through the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP).

Information about the Queen’s benefits program can be found on the Human Resources website