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Caring Communities Network

Extra-curricular activities are where some folks find their sense of community and access to support networks and resources. The Caring Communities Network (CCN) recognizes this and aims to use these activities to connect students with wellness resources in more efficient ways.

Contact the Caring Communities Network Program Coordinator for more details!

Email the CCN Coordinator

The CCN (Caring Communities Network) exists to build the capacity of students to support and enhance student wellbeing. The purpose of the network is to:

  1. Build connections for sharing best practices across student communities
  2. Provide better support for student leaders who are already assuming some or many of these responsibilities in their respective units
  3. Facilitate conversations about the proactive practices student communities can employ to enhance the wellbeing of students in their communities

Clubs, communities, or departments that choose to participate will have a designated Wellbeing Liaison (see below) whose duty is to orient student leaders to existing wellness programs and services and connect with other Wellbeing Liaisons to facilitate conversations on how to best support leadership team in support student wellbeing. The Wellbeing Liaison may be a new role within the club’s executive team, or the duties of a Wellness Liaison may be adopted by someone on the team with a similar role. 

Click here for a complete summary of the Caring Communities Network.

CCN 101

Each group that joins the Caring Communities Network will designate a group member as a Wellbeing Liaison. Liaisons are responsible for helping to connect students in their communities to initiatives related to student health and wellness.

This role also serves as a local resource, providing support for all members in a community who may have questions or need assistance accessing services and resources. Student communities may decide to create a new role within their executive structure or decide to adapt an already existing role, i.e. Club Chaplain, VP Social, etc.

Orientation and Support

Orientation will be offered in a three-hour session in September, with additional optional training offered throughout the year (e.g. safeTALK, Peer Support 101). The orientation will provide information on wellness programs and resources at McMaster and use case studies to explore best practices in supporting students’ wellbeing while respecting boundaries within one’s role. Regular email updates will be sent to Liaisons to provide information on new tools, resources and services for students. Back-up support, including consultation with mental health professionals, will be identified for those assuming the Wellbeing Liaison role to ensure they are adequately resourced. Liaisons are provided with a toolkit of resources that include information on campus resources and procedures. Regular Community of Practice meetings will allow Liaisons to connect with peers across campus and share practices and resources for their role.

 

Time Commitment and Length of Term

  • 2-4 hours per month, depending on needs of your club
  • 3 hour program orientation in September
  • Community of Practice Meetings: 3 hours (1.5 hours per term)
  • End of year program review meeting: 1.5 hours at beginning of April
  • Additional Training (optional)

This program will recognize and enhance the work being done to promote wellness in your community. This program provides the opportunity to:

  • Receive free health and wellness based training
  • Collaborate with other groups
  • Share resources and ideas
  • Promote your health and wellness initiatives to individuals and groups who share your goals or may benefit from your programming
  • Take on a leadership role within the McMaster community

If you’re interested in being a Wellbeing Liaison, you can apply directly through your club of interest. Talk to the executive members of the club to see if they have an opening for this position. If not, feel free to contact either the Student Wellness Centre or MSU to start up a new wellness liaison position (see link to form below)

As a club, to become a part of the Caring Communities Network, determine who will act as your Wellness Liaison and fill out this form. Please register promptly, as the current program capacity is limited to forty groups. Email the CCN Project Coordinator at ccnpc@msu.mcmaster.ca for further information.

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