At midday on Oct. 30, as the sound of the cello played in the background and people’s laughter echoed in the lobby, HR’s Health and Well-Being team welcomed around 400 attendees to explore what the 2019 Health Fair had to offer.
This year’s edition, held at New Residence Hall, brought together staff and faculty interested in learning about McGill’s many services that support employees’ physical, mental, and financial health and wellness.
In the exhibition room, on- and off-campus exhibitors showcased their services, handed out pamphlets and samples, and provided an opportunity for employees to inquire about their resources. Among the McGill exhibitors were Athletics and Recreation, Women’s Healthy Heart Initiative, My Healthy Workplace, the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, and many more. External exhibitors included Lufa Farms, Laughter Yoga, the Breast Cancer Foundation Quebec, Manulife and others.
“It is important for employees to see what’s available to them as resources across McGill and also outside through our external providers,” said Geneviève Veilleux, Benefits Advisor within the Well-being team.
In the speakers’ corner, McGill’s Dr. Joe Schwarcz gave a talk on nutritional advice, Lana Kobeici conducted a meditation session and sounds of mirth emanated from Liliana De Leo’s laughter yoga class.
“This event unites us as a community around such an important and vast topic, is an avenue to start conversations about health and well-being, and make connections with other colleagues,” said Sara Charbonneau, Health and Well-Being Advisor and 2019 Health Fair organizer. “It puts health and wellness to the forefront, which quite often takes a back seat during the business of our day to day lives.”
According to Veilleux, this was also an opportunity for employees to take a few hours off to relax, socialize and meet new people. Some attendees enjoyed the live music and relaxed on couches, others doodled in the creativity corner while many interacted and cuddled with therapy dogs, as it was this year’s most anticipated activity. The event also featured on-site activities including blood pressure testing, cycling in the spin bike garden, and a health-themed raffle with over 30 winners!
“What a successful event – bigger and more varied than any I had attended at previous employers,” said Hélène Paquette, Manager at HR’s Benefits unit. “This is my first year at McGill and I can’t wait to participate again next year.”
The Health Fair, organized by HR’s Health and Well-Being team, is an annual event that takes place at the end of October, Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month. This year’s edition of the fair was – for the first time ever – certified as a Gold McGill Sustainable Event by the McGill Office of Sustainability. We hope to see you next year as you take the time and discover new resources to nurture your own well-being.