Heidi Balsillie, Melanie-Anne Atkins and Jana Luker, former Associate Vice-President (Student Experience)
welcomed students to the new space.

Fairmont backs
Wellness Education Centre

Ensuring Western students have a safe, comfortable place where they can access health and wellness resources in a personalized way is critical to providing a positive student experience.

Thanks to a $1-million donation from the Fairmount Foundation, Western students now have that safe, central and supportive space. The Wellness Education Centre acts as a one-stop shop for students seeking mental-health/wellness resources, nutrition information, as well as sexual-violence prevention education and survivors’ support.

This gift from alumna Heidi Balsillie, BA’82, aligned with her Foundation’s aim to help individuals or groups overcome obstacles to move closer to living full, healthy lives.

“It is my hope, with this gift, to directly impact the lives of Western’s students in a positive manner. I want all Western students to feel like they are a part of this community, and to feel as though they have had lots of opportunities for personal and academic growth,” she said.

In addition to supporting the Wellness Education Centre, the gift also provides funding for new health-and-wellness programming and workshops, including an annual lecture series that brings speakers to campus on the topic of health and wellness.

“I hope the lecture series will provide learning and inspiration of a less academic and more psychological and emotional type – with each speaker no doubt affecting everyone differently,” Balsillie said.

Amit Chakma, Melanie-Anne Atkins and Heidi Balsillie

The gift also supports an international learning bursary to provide students facing financial difficulty with the opportunity to study abroad. It is Balsillie’s hope that bursary recipients will gain new and exciting life experiences - opportunities they wouldn’t have had otherwise.