By Emma Sandri
The Ryerson Students’ Union’s (RSU) Wellness Centre finally opened its doors to students on Monday.
Now, the former Used Book Room in the basement of the Student Campus Centre (SCC) will be a place for students to access on and off-campus resources to improve their wellbeing.
“What the wellness centre wants to do is centralize a lot of the resources for Ryerson students so they don’t need to run around campus to think about their wellness,” said Jessica Ketwaroo-Green, the Wellness Centre’s lead. “What we’re trying to do is to bring the resources that are available at Ryerson to students here, and then bring external programming that students are requesting, or, that there is high demand for.”
“I kinda felt like I was on my own through the beginning of my undergrad.”
Over the past couple of weeks, Ketwaroo-Green has been bringing together the resources and programming necessary to facilitate the centre’s opening. To her, the Wellness Centre can be described as a “one-stop area” for Ryerson students trying to better their well-being.
“Thinking back to my first-year, there wasn’t necessarily a place that I could go to reach out to somebody or a place that I could go to seek help. So I kinda felt like I was on my own through the beginning of my undergrad,” said Ketwaroo-Green. “Now there is a space on campus where students can come and at least start to think about how they’re taking care of themselves and their mental wellbeing.”
The Wellness Centre is offering a number of programs and services for Ryerson students to access in the months ahead. Including, peer-to-peer and faith-specific chaplaincy counselling, weekly Netflix marathons and meditation sessions lead by Buddhist monks.
Yet, as previously reported by The Eyeopener, the RSU promised that the Wellness Centre would house a Muslim chaplaincy for Ryerson students but it may no longer be housed in the centre.
RSU president Susanne Nyaga says the Wellness Centre will provide a space for students to “hold administration accountable to ensure that they’re providing resources” which cater to their mental, physical, spiritual and emotional needs.
“For me, it just says that we care,” said Nyaga. “It says that we care about [students’] stress levels, their anxiety levels. It says that we care about whether they have a healthy meal to eat. It says that we care about providing a place where they can just chill and relax.”
The centre’s opening touched on each of those aspects, offering free-food, a heat-reactive stress test, a smoothie-making bicycle and Netflix.
Araceli Zhong, who attended the opening with a friend who is volunteering at the centre, said her first impression was the friendliness of the staff.
“It was nice to know that there (is) help that Ryerson can give us and to know that they’re always supporting us,” said Zhong.