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Six Canadian universities partner on groundbreaking health promotion movement

Mount Royal University is one of six Canadian post-secondary institutions leading an international effort to create campuses that will improve the health and well-being of students, faculty and staff. 

Presidents (from left): Gary Kachanoski, Memorial; Santa Ono, UBC; Elizabeth Cannon, U of C; David Docherty, Mount Royal; Andrew Petter, SFU; Mike Mahon, Lethbridge.

~Photo courtesy Mike Pinder Photography

Mount Royal, along with the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Memorial University, the University of Calgary and the University of Lethbridge, are the first to formally adopt the Okanagan Charter: An International Charter for Health Promoting Universities and Colleges.

The charter calls for a campus-wide commitment to health and well-being in all policies and practices. It was developed not only with the assistance of post-secondary institutions, but also with input from the Pan American Health Organization and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The six Canadian universities adopted the charter to inspire other institutions to follow suit, recognizing that universities and colleges can set an example as communities that promote health.

Research shows that health and well-being are essential to learning, retention, productivity, satisfaction and building a sense of community. Universities and colleges are in a unique position to promote well-being through education, research, policies and practices that can be developed on campuses.

The newly-formed Canadian Health Promoting Universities and Colleges Network, headed by these first university signatories, is working to advance the charter and encourage health promotion on campuses across Canada and globally.