Arrive and Thrive is a gateway for Mac students with mental health issues

Posted on April 12th, 2017

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There are hidden parts of McMaster University, natural “auditoriums,” so to speak, cupped into the deepening woodlands that trail away from the parking lots, ivied brick buildings and bustle of the main campus. Here, a different learning goes on.

Thanks to Arrive and Thrive, more and more students are finding these hidden parts: special places, secluded retreats from campus care, as they search for antidotes to other hidden areas of university life, obscured in shadows of pain and misunderstanding. Crippling stress, anxiety, substance abuse, loneliness.

For 18 months, Arrive and Thrive’s multipronged programs have been helping students build resilience and coping skills, in the face of increasing mental health pressures at university.

Part of Arrive and Thrive’s playbook is WIND — Walk In Nature Days — forays into the campus nature trails that connect with RBG lands.

The walks are healing. The most popular program is KORU, a four-week introduction to meditation and mindfulness. More than 200 Mac students have taken it.

Mental health challenges aren’t so much hidden on campus — we know they’re there — as not sufficiently front of mind.

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