Starting Feb. 1, students who sign up for SAIT’s new happiness initiative will start receiving e-mails containing positive messages or activities they can do to boost their spirits.
The initiative, which is called the 28 Days of Happiness, is the brainchild of SAIT Student Development and Counselling services.
Shelann McQuay, a counsellor at SAIT, says the idea came from their showing of the Happy Movie, which they played in both residence and the Irene Lewis Atrium on Jan 19 during SAIT Students’ Association’s (SAITSA) Happy Monday event.
“[The movie] really highlights different things internationally that people are doing in different cultures to promote happiness, and it talks about research that is being done,” McQuay said in an interview.
“So, from there, it just kind of spiralled about how we could take that even further and help support students.”
The messages being sent out will focus on different areas that research has shown can promote happiness.
“It might be about optimism, about community, about taking care of your physical activity and taking care of your physical body, or expressing gratitude,” McQuay said.
“It could also be things that are happening on, or around, the campus that people can get involved in that would connect with all those different areas that are known to promote happiness.”
Julie Egers, who is also a counsellor at SAIT, said second semester for post-secondary students is when students are “more open to reaching out.
“They have learned in the first semester which things worked and did not work, and so I think it is a semester of opportunity of working students around proactive things they can do to promote wellness.”
Egers said that the Happy Movie showing was meant for people to catch clips and see different inspirational things as they walked by during the Happy Monday event.
“We gave out smiles and people could catch glimpses of the movie.
“We made contact with more than 400 people and gave out over 400 smiles.”
About 25 per cent of those 400 students have signed up for the 28 Days of Happiness.
Serge Brendes, a first-year accounting student, said he thinks the messages could definitely be uplifting for those attending SAIT.
“If I were to receive these messages, I would just like to see people being positive,” he said.
“Or even humour. Humour is good for that.”
To sign up for the 28 Days of Happiness, send an email with your student ID number to firstname.lastname@example.org.