Okanagan Charter at NIC

North Island College (NIC) has long recognized the fundamental importance of mental health and well-being to academic and personal success.

As a demonstration of NIC’s commitment to promoting and enhancing mental health and well-being, in July 2020, NIC formally adopted the Okanagan Charter: An International Charter for Health Promoting Universities and Colleges.

The charter has two calls to action:

  1. Embed human and environmental well-being into campus administration, culture, academics and operations
  2. Lead human and environmental well-being promotion action locally and globally.

Watch this video about what the charter means to NIC

NIC’s Commitment to Mental Health and Well-being

NIC has made the following commitments as a preliminary step in support of the Okanagan Charter’s Calls to Action:

  1. NIC commits to including mental health and well-being in ongoing strategic planning process.
  2. NIC will create a Mental Health and Well-Being Action Plan, to:
    1. Enhance and align existing health and well-being promotion;
    2. Embed mental health and well-being into all areas of the institution;
    3. Develop new ways to support, promote and enhance mental health and well-being with the college community; and
    4. Support mental health and well-being in built and natural environments, including proposed student housing.
  3. NIC will continue to support students in distress or crisis, by:
    1. Developing systems and tools to identify students in distress early and connecting them with campus and community resources; and
    2. Providing culturally relevant student supports to Indigenous, international and domestic students.
  4. NIC will promote mental health and wellness programming throughout the College, by:
    1. Creating a cross-campus advisory group to intentionally engage and connect the college community through coordinated events and activities;
    2. Encouraging student-led health and wellness solutions; and
    3. Developing college-wide campaigns to foster connection and kindness.

About the Okanagan Charter

In 2015, the Okanagan Charter was signed by over 380 higher education leaders and delegates from around the world. The signees pledged to bring the Charter back to their institutions as a framework to help identify and support positive change in the area of health promotion. Since then, more than twenty-five postsecondary institutions have formally adopted the Charter.

Supporting mental health and well-being has been important to the NIC community for a long time as evidenced numerous and varied initiatives that already exist or are in development. The adoption of the Okanagan Charter enables us to be intentional and clearly articulate our commitment to a thriving campus culture and community.

There are numerous other benefits to the adoption of the Okanagan Charter including:

  • enhance our health and wellbeing, essential to achieving our full potential in teaching and learning, research, and engagement
  • develop healthy and sustainable campus environments by embedding health promotion into institutional policies and campus cultures
  • generate transformational teaching and learning environments, an increasingly strategic requirement for attracting top talent and for student, faculty and staff satisfaction, retention and performance
  • align with global agendas to improve social and environmental determinants of health

Links

Okanagan Charter: An International Charter for Health Promoting Universities and Colleges

NIC Statement of Endorsement of the Okanagan Charter

Canadian Network for Health Promoting Campuses

NIC adopts Okanagan Charter

Canadian Health Promoting Campuses

NIC counselling supports for students

Early Assist