Healthy employees are happy employees. It’s no wonder then that employers are increasingly implementing wellness programs. According to Healthy Alberta, employees of companies that have a workplace wellness program are likely to have: increased awareness and knowledge of ways to improve their health; a better (less stressful) workplace; increased protection from injury; improved health and well-being; higher morale and greater job satisfaction; increased productivity and effectiveness at work; reduced personal health care costs; and a more relaxed/flexible approach to health issues.

Helping promote the total well being of individuals and groups within corporate and community contexts are graduates of undertakings such as Centennial College’s Workplace Wellness and Health Promotion Program. As the first post-graduate wellness program of its sort in Canada, it has set the bar high for offerings that may follow it as it offers both the management and communication skills needed to become an effective manager of wellness and health promotion programs.

Firstly, the program presents a range of topics that are essential to professionals who will deal with people from all walks of life and who have a range of health issues, including: research methods in health studies, psycho-social and physical health issues, mental health, nutrition, assessing health risk factors, and more.

Secondly, it takes all of the health issues and places them into a corporate or community context as students learn program design and management, mental health management, program planning and health promotion theory, coaching as well as designing, implementing and evaluating effective health promotion strategies and programs, and managing programs in accordance with organizational policies and procedures.

Thirdly, there is a heavy emphasis on hands-on training. The most beneficial practical aspect is a field placement in the second semester. The placement totals two days a week, eight hours per day based on times that are mutually agreeable for both student and employer. Students must integrate and apply theories and skills that they acquired in their classes. In conjunction with their placements, students attend a two-hour class to complete applicable paperwork, get assistance if needed and to present their professional portfolios. At the end of their field placement, students present a final version of their professional portfolio, which incorporates their personal brand.

As a result of their training, grads bring a holistic and multi-disciplinary approach to workplace wellness and community health promotion. They have the ability to utilize a variety of presentation techniques and strategies, develop a business case for wellness, and market and promote wellness programs.

Applicants to one of the most respected health and wellness programs in Ontario has to offer are required to have completed a college diploma, or university degree in any discipline. They also have to demonstrate English Proficiency.