(NORTH BAY, ONT.) – Canadore College and its alumni association affinity partner, The Co-operators Group Auto and Home Insurance, revealed a new on-campus light therapy student lounge today.
The lounge, equipped with specialty daylight spectrum lighting ceiling fixtures and numerous lamps, was designed to help patrons combat health challenges like seasonal affective disorder, general lack of energy, depression and insomnia, all of which have been associated with a lack of natural light.
“As northern Ontarians, we mostly live indoors over the winter months, which leaves us deprived of sunlight and may lead to changes in our mood,” said George Burton, President and CEO of Canadore College. “These changes affect our relationships, as well as our ability to study effectively and work productively. We’re pleased to be offering a space for our college community to access light therapy to help mitigate health issues like seasonal affective disorder.”
Burton points to a recent joint publication between the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) and the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services (CACUSS) as being one of the key drivers behind the initiative. The research conclusively found that a campus environment that includes warm, welcoming and safe spaces for students to gather and connect has been found to have a positive impact on both academic performance and mental health.
In addition to full spectrum lighting, the lounge also boasts new furniture, study carols, carpeting as well as artwork to reflect creativity and walls painted in hues associated with peace, harmony and balance in colour therapy.
At an unveiling ceremony held this morning, the lounge was officially named as The Co-operators Light Therapy Student Lounge to commemorate a five-year affinity partnership agreement between Canadore College’s alumni association and the insurance company.
The light therapy lounge is a component of Canadore College’s overall wellness plan. In the past five years, the College has rolled out a hybrid student services model to support students to achieve success academically and personally, created mental health first aid modules for First Nations communities across northern Ontario, welcomed Niijii - a mental health and wellness dog dedicated to on-campus activity - and launched a multi-faceted wellness centre.
“With the generous support of other donors, we are hopeful that we will be able to expand this light therapy initiative to our other campuses as well,” said Burton.
Canadore trains people through applied learning, leadership and innovation. It provides access to over 65 full-time quality programs and has outstanding faculty and student services. The College and its students add nearly $290 million to the regions of Nipissing and Parry Sound. Approximately 1,000 students graduate from Canadore each year, and they join 42,000 alumni working across the globe.