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Faculty, staff and student partnership a positive connection

Interesting and lively discussions take place all over campus all the time. So it should be no surprise that you’ll find one at the International Student Advising (ISA) Office, located in Corte Real, each Wednesday afternoon. Diverse groups with varying points of view, backgrounds, education, experience, age and knowledge are invited to discuss a wide variety of topics, each facilitated by an expert.

On June 4, faculty, staff and students gathered to discuss body image. The topic, healthy body image, was presented by Dr. Natalie Beausoleil with the Division of Community Health and Humanities. Dr. Beausoleil is the co-chair of The Body Image Network which is committed to encouraging a positive social environment through sharing information on body image, self-esteem and eating disorders. She is working to promote positive body image and increase awareness of the impact of negative body image, specifically among youth.

“I am really proud of the Body Image Network for youth because want to promote the vitality approach through school curriculums and make links with the community to promote positive body image,” stated Dr. Beausoleil. “We need a comprehensive program for teenagers. Good food has to be as cheap as junk food.”

The message of the Body Image Network is communicated through education, awareness, research, advocacy and collaboration.

Dr. Beausoleil shared an example of collaboration and partnership in a research project working with the future health professionals and teachers in Newfoundland and Labrador. The Department of Health and Community Services, Wellness Division, provided a grant for Promoting Healthy Living… Self-Esteem and Positive Body Image. More information is available at www.bodyimagenetwork.ca.

The body image discussion was sponsored by the Newfoundland and Labrador – Health in Pluralistic Societies (NL-HIPS). Dr. Rebecca Law with the School of Pharmacy is the current president and Puran Singh Cheema is the treasurer, volunteering their services for this non-profit organization. NL-HIPS aims to improve the health of diverse ethnic, racial, religious or social groups maintaining a traditional culture while living in Newfoundland and Labrador.

NL-HIPS offers partnership, liaison, information, consultation, networking and training. NL-HIPS is affiliated with the Canadian Council on Multicultural Health (CCMC) and associated with the Canadian Ethnocultural Council (CEC). A current project, funded by the Wellness Coalition, is to raise awareness about health and wellness issues relevant to multicultural youths.

The two target groups are students attending the ISA Wednesday afternoon discussions, and young English as Second Language (ESL) students attending the Association of New Canadians’ Youth Group activities. Topics have included acne and body image with additional sessions in planning. More information about NL-HIPS or this particular project is available by contacting Dr. Law at 777-6851 or rlaw@mun.ca.

The ISA provides support to current and new international students; undergraduate, graduate, visiting students, exchange students and ESL students. Everyone is welcome to coffee club each Friday from 3 pm – 5 pm and discussion group each Wednesday from 4 pm – 5 pm in a relaxed, pleasant social atmosphere. The meetings are held in Room 1000 B in the ISA, located in Corte Real. For more information on how to get connected, contact Shahana Islam with the ISA at 737-8895 or e-mail isa@mun.ca.
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