Welcoming back health and wellness on campus

    Hello, Mounties! My name is Rachel McDougall and I’m the Mount Allison health intern at the Wellness Centre this year. I’m in my fourth year playing volleyball for the Mounties and pursuing a bachelor of science in honours biochemistry with minors in biology and chemistry. As the health intern, I work closely with Cindy Crossman, your friendly neighbourhood registered nurse at the Wellness Centre, and with the Health Matters Society to promote wellbeing and educate the Mt. A community about health consciousness.

I am also responsible for writing the Talking Wellness column this year, and I could not be more excited to do so. As a student-athlete and having previously worked with the Student-Athlete Mental Health Initiative and other mental health awareness-raising campaigns, I look forward to promoting healthy living on campus and encouraging all students to take care of themselves throughout this academic year.

My intentions for this column include discussing current health-related news, raising health awareness and consciousness on campus and introducing monthly health themes and events promoted by the Health Matters Society and the Wellness Centre. I will also be introducing students to the many services and resources provided by the Wellness Centre here on campus.

The Wellness Centre offers a wide range of services to the Mount Allison community, including: health services (nurse/educator, physicians, massage therapy, acupuncture), mental health and wellness services (counselling, educational outreach, psychologists), SHARE (sexual harassment and assault response and education service), the Meighen Centre (support for students with disabilities) and Indigenous student support, as well as cannabis, alcohol and substance use harms reduction. These services aim to provide students with a holistic collection of resources in order to be as healthy and happy as possible while attending Mt. A.

September’s health theme is education about alcohol consumption and consent. It is extremely important for students and community members, especially those who are transitioning into adult life, to be informed about these topics. If you choose to consume alcohol, it is important to do so responsibly. Know your limits; the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction suggests no more than three drinks for women or four drinks for men on a single occasion, with no more than two drinks in any three hours. A “drink” is considered to be 341 mL of beer/cider/cooler (5% abv), 142 mL of wine (12% abv) or 43 mL of hard liquor (40% abv).

Some tips for safer drinking include having one non-alcoholic drink (preferably water) for every drink of alcohol, eating before and while you are drinking and planning your night to drink in a safe environment. Remember, whether or not you drink is your decision and your decision alone; don’t feel the need to drink if you don’t want to.

If you have any questions, comments, topics you’d like to see in the column or are interested in volunteering for the Health Matters Society, please don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected]. Have a healthy week!

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