Wellness Empowerment Program (WEP)
The Wellness Empowerment Program (WEP) is a Renfrew Educational Services Program funded by Alberta Health Services. It is a school-based mental health capacity building initiative which promotes positive mental health outcomes in children, youth, families, and individuals in the community.
WEP began serving schools in Calgary in 2007 and currently serves independent and charter schools. In 2018, WEP received additional funding to serve Tsuut’ina Nation and Stoney Education Authority.
The Wellness Empowerment Program at Mac Islamic School has two wellness coaches, Jaime Goodison and Suzie Kandil. They both work within schools and communities to provide a safe, caring and welcoming space for students to enhance their knowledge and skills to support positive mental health. WEP’s work is aligned with the Alberta Education curriculum and collaborates with teachers, students, and families. WEP also provides professional development for school staff and information sessions for parents, and participates in community events and community-based programs throughout the summer.
WEP supports positive mental health through the following:
- Raising awareness about mental health
- Increasing knowledge around what contributes to positive mental health outcomes
- Supporting students to build personal skills (such as self-care, self-regulation, identifying and managing emotions, conflict resolution, etc.)
- Fostering positive community norms (such as support networks, physical safety, and psychological safety)
- Facilitating access to early intervention and treatment for students and families
- Increasing knowledge of and access to community resources and services.