Five corners collaboration focuses on community health and wellness

Take a second to think about what health and wellness means to you. Does it mean exercising for an hour a day? Eating three square meals? Finding time to get enough sleep? Now think about what it would mean if you couldn’t afford a gym membership, groceries, or a safe place to sleep.

health and wellness-5 cornersAt the Five Corners Open House, UFV students got a chance to learn what health and wellness means to over 150 individuals living in downtown Chilliwack.

“Being face-to-face with individuals allowed us to focus on assessing client needs and working with them to figure out ways to satisfy those needs,” said Travis Hubert, a UFV Nursing student.

“I had several conversations with individuals who had been on the streets for several days, and being able to help them figure out ways of finding shelter or a meal was incredibly empowering and satisfying as a nursing student.”

health-wellness-wpWhat started as a conversation about coming together for health and wellness initiatives led to the formation of the Five Corners Community Outreach Interdisciplinary Committee. This initiative brought students together from Nursing, Dental, Kinesiology and Social Work.

Students set up informative displays on topics ranging from caring for baby’s teeth to mental health awareness. Everyone had the option to participate in activities that included a fitness assessment, foot care treatment, and even making a fruit smoothie with the exercise bike blender.

Event organizers worked closely with community agencies and businesses to provide attendees with healthy prizes, snacks, and a takeaway bag that included a gym membership.

“In addition to various interactive displays and activities, we incorporated a needs assessment component to help identify the health needs and priorities at the Five Corners site,” said Hannah MacDonald, Director of the School of Health Studies at UFV.

“We wanted to focus on learning from those that need it most in order to provide them with meaningful resources and support in the future.”