More than 100 employees with LAMP Community Health Centre (CHC) were recently given a day to focus on their wellness thanks to a collaboration with the Centre for Innovation in Health and Wellness (CIHW) at Humber College.

The College’s CIHW hosted a Wellness Day event at North Campus that offered a variety of activities to the LAMP employees including a guided walk of the Humber Arboretum, yoga and stretching sessions as well as several other activities and workshops designed to promote health and well-being.

“LAMP Community Health Centre, like many other front-line community health organizations, did not shut down during COVID19 and continued to serve the vulnerable population all through the pandemic,” said Vanita Varma, director, CIHW. “With more than 100 healthcare workers and staff at LAMP, this is a community group that deserves appreciation and recognition for their commitment and hard work and this Wellness Day is designed specifically for them. Through this day, CIHW is also providing opportunities to Humber students for experiential learning and to meet their learning outcomes.”

CIHW and LAMP CHC had partnered on a Health Innovation Challenge earlier this year that engaged students in finding innovative solutions to the prevention of Type 2 Diabetes. The idea of co-creating a Wellness Day evolved from that initial partnership.

A group of people walk along a path through a forest.

Keddone Dias is the Executive Director of LAMP CHC and said that those working in healthcare often don’t prioritize their own wellness, adding it can often be an afterthought for some. It was the first staff Wellness Day they have had in-person since the pandemic and was a way to thank the employees for regularly going above and beyond for the community they serve.

“We wanted them to unapologetically take a day for themselves,” said Dias. “People who care for others often put their care last and they need time to care for themselves.”

Jenell Austin is a social worker and project manager with LAMP who was excited about having a day filled with health-promoting activities but also to connect with her colleagues in person. Austin led one of the wellness sessions – a discussion of the book The Body is not an Apology.  

“People here care and, when you care, sometimes you absorb the experiences of others,” said Austin. “I’m looking forward to engaging and connecting with nature for a day of wellness.”

Another staff member, Ishrat Sohail, shared that “the event was wonderful, it was a first having people focus on my personal mental health and stress as I am usually the one helping others. I really enjoyed learning about strategies I can use to help myself.”

A person uses a paintbrush to paint a picture on a piece of paper. Other people are creating art as well.

Varma, meanwhile, said the CIHW’s vision is to collaborate and bring in community partners to Humber for co-designing and co-creating programs to enhance community health and wellness. She said Wellness Day was just the beginning of many more collaborative projects with community partners.

Find out more about the CIHW by visiting its website.