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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Mental Health Week: May 1 - 7, 2023

Mental Health Week has become a Canadian tradition, with communities, schools and workplaces shining a spotlight on the importance of mental health.  Thank you for everyone who participated in the week's events and activities!

A message on Mental Health from the President

Every Day in May Health Challenge:
The Every Day in May Health Challenge combines various healthy habits, such as physical activity, nutrition, water consumption, and self-care practices, into a fun, friendly competition between colleagues.  Sign-up today for your chance to win prizes, while reaping the benefits of healthy habits and connecting with your team!
  • How to Sign-Up:
    1. Form a Team:
    • Ontario Tech employees will form teams of 4 to 7 people
    • Come up with a Team Name
    • Assign a Team Captain
      2. Register/Sign-up your Team
  • How does the challenge work?:

       1.   Participate in the Health Challenge

    Using the Every Day in May Point Tracker, each team member will collect points for their team between May 1-31, by completing the following activities:

    • Being physically active
    • Consuming fruits/vegetables
    • Drinking water
    • Practicing self-care activities
    • Weekly Bonus activity
      • Week 1: Attend the Mental Health Week Fairs on either May 2 (North Campus) or May 4 (Charles Hall)
      • Week 2: Attend a Campus Clean-Up Event on either May 9 (Charles Hall) or May 11 (North Campus/Windfields Farm)
      • Week 3: Sign up for the Mindful Digital Toolkit where you can access Mindful Meeting Starters (Reference Guide & Practices) and Mindful Self-Care Practices (Reference Guide & Practices) [Access coming soon!]
      • Week 4: Attend the Bio-Diversity Blitz on May 24 at Windfields Farm
      • Week 5: Visit the LifeWorks Essentials Platform App and review the available resources. Don't have access? Email: 

       2.   Submit your points weekly

    Each team member is responsible for providing their weekly point total to their Team Captain.

    Team Captains will use the Captain’s Tally Sheet to record their team member’s weekly point totals and then submit their team’s weekly total using the Captain’s Weekly Submission Link.

    Submission dates are as follows:

    • Week 1 (May 1-7), Submit by May 10
    • Week 2 (May 8-14), Submit by May 17
    • Week 3 (May 15-21), Submit by May 24
    • Week 4 (May 22-28), Submit by May 31
    • Week 5 (May 29-31), Submit by June 7

    Are there prizes?

    Yes! Beyond the fun of friendly competition and health benefits of participating in healthy habits, the prizes are as follows:

    • Top 3 Teams with the most points (points will be averaged by the number of team members)
      • Team 1: FitBit Versa 2, water bottles, and drawstring bags
      • Team 2: FitBit Inspire 3, tumber with straw and drawstring bags
      • Team 3: Yoga mat, blocks & strap, tumbler, and drawstring bags
    • Weekly Participation Prizes
  • Frequently Asked Questions:
    1. How can I determine the intensity of my physical activity into low, moderate, or vigorous?
    • Low: You can carry on a conversation easily, minimum increase to breathing and heart rate, think of a leisurely stroll
    • Moderate: May be difficult to carry on a conversation without becoming out of breath, breathing and heart rate increase, think of a brisk walk
    • Vigorous: Difficult to carry on a conversation, large increase in breathing and heart rate, your walk has become a run

     2. I can’t find my physical or self-care activity in the drop-down lists, what should I do?

    • Please select the ‘other’ option at the end of the drop-down lists.

     3. I completed two physical activity sessions in one day, how can I log this?

    • You’re welcome to combine the two physical activity sessions, here’s an example.
    • Walk at low intensity for 30 min: 1 x 40 = 40 points
    • Aerobics at moderate intensity for 20 min: 2 x 20 = 40 points
    • Log as aerobics at moderate intensity for 40 min to total 80 points
    Note: The intensity level will multiply your physical activity minutes:
            1. Low = 1 x # of min
            2. Moderate = 2 x # of min
            3. Vigorous = 3 x # of min

    Note: The maximum exercise time is 60 minutes, which includes situations when you're combining two physcial activity sessions.  Here's an example.

    • Walk at moderate intensity for 50 min: 2 x 50 = 100 points  
    • Aerobics at low intensity for 30 min: 1 x 10* = 10 points
      *Can only log 10 minutes since the maximum physical activity time is 60 minutes
    • Log as walk at moderate intensity for 55 min: 2 x 55 = 110 points

     4. If I eat 5 fruits or 5 vegetables, do I still get the points?

    • Yes, any combination of 5 fruits and/or vegetables works.

     5. Does tea count toward my water intake?

    • No. Please only count water.

     6. How long must the self-care activity be to get points?

    • There is no set time.  Simply complete the activity.

     7. I still have questions, who can I contact?

May Health Week Activities

  • Wellness Walk: May 1

    Get moving, get grounded and get lifted. 

    Wellness Walks is a free and fun opportunity that promotes physical and mental health by getting mindful walking breaks during the busy school and workday. Come out for a walk to restore your concentration, uplift your mood, decrease your stress and be a part of your campus community. All students, staff and faculty are invited to participate.

    Date: Monday May 1st 2023
    Time: Arrive at 12:00, We will begin the walk at 12:05pm – 1:00 pm

    No registration required.

    Meet in the Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre (CRWC), at the information desk, and then the walk will proceed outdoors.


  • Mental Health Fairs: May 2 & 4

    Engage with members of our Healthy Workplace Committee and walk away with great give-aways!  We have something for everyone!

    North Campus:

    Date: Tuesday, May 2
    Time: 12:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
    Location: SHA-Lobby

    Charles Hall:

    Date: Thursday, May 4
    Time: 12;00 - 2:00 p.m.
    Location: CHA-Entrance Lobby
  • 2023 Employee Awards Celebration: May 3

    Join us to celebrate Ontario Tech University ten-year employee milestones and the annual Staff Awards of Excellence!

    It’s that time of year when Ontario Tech employees gather with colleagues to recognize and celebrate their accomplishments of the past year.

    This year’s event will feature Keynote Speaker Michael (Pinball) Clemons, Canadian Sports Hall-of-Famer and General Manager of the Toronto Argonauts. Pinball will surely inspire with a talk about putting our hearts into everything we do, and the potential that’s in each of us to achieve anything we set our minds to.

    Also, in attendance to help bring the entertainment and fun will be Hunter and other Ridgeback athletes, along with Mechatronics Engineering student David Akinyemi, also known as King Daviid to perform the Ridgeback Anthem!

    Date: Wednesday, May 3, 2023
    Time: 1-4pm
    Location: Science Building (UA), Room 1350
    Reception to follow outside in Polonsky Commons

    Registration required: Please RSVP by Tuesday, April 25.

    We look forward to seeing you there!

  • Employee Family Assistance Program (EFAP) Orientation Session: May 5

    Did you know that LifeWorks is more than a confidential counselling service?  Ontario Tech’s EFAP offers support with mental, financial, physical, and emotional well-being.  Whether you have questions about handling stress at work and home, parenting and childcare, managing money, or health issues, you can turn to LifeWorks for a confidential service.

    Date: Friday, May 5th
    Time: 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
    Location: Virtual, Synchronous



Mental Health Resources

  • Mindful Meeting Starters & Self-Care Practices

    All Ontario Tech University Faculty and Staff will have 1-year (May 2023-2024) of complimentary access to the Mindful Society Global Institute's Mindful Meeting Starters and Mindful Self-Care Practices.

    • Mindful Meeting Starters
      • Reference Guide
      • 8 Guided practices you can use to start meetings.

    • Mindful Self-Care Practices
      • 2 Reference Guides
      • 8 Guided practices validated to support mental and emotional well-being.

    Enroll now to receive complimentary access to this digital resource bundle!


    Bonus Offering:

    Do you want to learn more about how to apply mindfulness at work? 

    Register today for complimentary access to Applying Mindfulness at Work, an On-Demand 4-Module course available to all Ontario Tech University Faculty and Staff.

  • Education/Training Opportunities:

    The Working Mind: 

    Gain knowledge to identify shifts in mental well-being in yourself and others while learning coping skills to manage stress. Increasing our awareness about mental health will help reduce stigma associated with mental illness. Participants will receive a certificate of completion from the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC)


    Mindsight is an online educational resource to reduce stigma by promoting awareness of mental illness, and facilitating a greater understanding of basic strategies and resources for supporting individuals experience a mental health challenge.

    REACH Guidelines for Employees supporting Colleagues:

    As an Ontario Tech University employee, you’re in a key position to notice warning signs that may indicate that a colleague needs assistance. You do not need to be a counsellor/therapist to recognize the warning signs or to connect someone to support resources.  All employees can use these guidelines to support their colleagues.

    Essentials Platform:

    Effective March 7th, all full time and limited term employees will be invited to join LifeWorks Essentials, an add-on to our existing LifeWorks EFAP program. LifeWorks Essentials provides an easy-to-use online platform and/or an app with tools to promote and support health and happiness!  Check your Outlook inbox for your invite, with the message "Join Wellness at Work on LifeWorks" in the email subject line.


  • Additional Resources:

Have questions or need more information about Mental Health Week?

Please email