In medical school it is easy to get caught up in the learning and involvement, not taking time to care for yourself. The culture is also one of toughness, so there is apprehension in asking for help or using the resources available. When you do look for resources, it can be difficult to find them, clicking through the many layers of university websites or sifting through all the community resources.
With the help of an Innovator Grant from the OMSA the Vitals Student Wellness Project was created at Western University. This project looked to address some of these shortcomings. Since last spring we have worked with established campus and student groups to design a project centralizing wellness resources for students in medical training. To simplify access we designed a mobile friendly website westernvitals.ca which is divided into the topics of school, home, wellness and crisis. Within these there are subtopics, each with a set of suggestions, resources and contacts. The site has a unique and welcoming voice to encourage use and is organized to allow exploration of community and on campus resources.
Along with the website Vitals has been involved in the mental health day of O-week, hosting multiple workshops, promoting student wellness and distribution of safety & support contact cards to students.
The website and project will be expanding in years to come and would not have been possible without the support of the OMSA. If you have a project in mind and want to get it off the ground we encourage you to apply for an Innovator Grant.
- Kevin D. (UWO)
[Editor's Note] For more information on the Innovator Grant, including how to apply, please visit https://omsa.squarespace.com/innovator-grant/ The deadline for this year's application is February 21, 2014