Since its inception in 2018, the UWorkItOut UWin program has provided exercise routines to participants referred by the Student Counselling Centre in an effort to improve their mental and physical health.
In recognition of this success its founder, kinesiology professor Krista Chandler, is the 2022 recipient of the Office of Human Rights, Equity, and Accessibility Mental Health Champion award. The award honours contributions to engaging students, faculty, or staff in removing the stigma associated with mental illness, removing barriers for inclusion, and recognizing and promoting mental health well-being.
Dr. Chandler notes that UWorkItOut UWin has alleviated demands on the counselling service, as enrollees require fewer interventions.
“We have seen significant results with respects to drops in depressions, significant drops in anxiety in the participants, as well as improved quality of life and mental wellness,” she says.
The program has also benefited the student trainers guiding the exercise, Chandler’s colleague Chad Sutherland adds in a letter supporting her award nomination.
“Not only has this program helped the University of Windsor students with mental health challenges, but it has also provided 41 experiential learning opportunities for other students on campus,” he wrote. “The importance of these experiential learning opportunities is paramount; these students develop an understanding and compassion for people with mental health challenges. Furthermore, these students move on to become advocates for people with mental health challenges and often continue this work in their future endeavours.”
Chandler shares the credit with collaborators and partners in a video on her award:
This is the fourth in a five-part series recognizing recipients of the 2022 OHREA awards.