Fairmount backs Wellness Centre with $1-million gift

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Western students now have a central, safe, supportive environment to access even more health-and-wellness resources thanks to a $1-million donation from the Fairmount Foundation.

The Wellness Education Centre (WEC), which opened earlier this year in the lower level of the University Community Centre (UCC), provides support for students – or anyone – seeking mental-health/wellness resources, nutrition information, as well as sexual violence prevention education and survivors’ support.

“Western is dedicated to ensuring that our students are as successful as possible, and part of that is providing them with the support and information they require to lead healthy lives,” said Jana Luker, Associate Vice-President (Student Experience). “With this gift, the Fairmount Foundation has helped us to provide a safe, comfortable place where our students can access these resources in a personalized way and we really can’t thank the Foundation enough.”

The centre, which operates on a ‘no wrong door’ policy where everyone’s questions are answered, is overseen by Wellness Coordinator Melanie-Anne Atkins. More than 500 students have visited the centre since its opening in January.

“It is my hope, with this gift, to directly impact the lives of Western’s students in a positive manner. I want all Western students to feel like they are a part of this community, and to feel as though they have had lots of opportunities for personal and academic growth,” said Heidi Balsillie, Founder of the Fairmount Foundation.

The Fairmount Foundation gift supports new health-and-wellness programming, including an annual lecture series that brings speakers to campus on the topic of health and wellness. In addition, the foundation has established an international learning bursary to provide students facing financial difficulty with the opportunity to study abroad.

The Wellness Education Centre is a collaborative effort between Student Experience and Student Health Services.