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Mental well-being is the ability to cope with the day to day stresses of life, work productively, interact positively with others and realize our own potential. Below are resources and initiatives available to support your mental well-being, both at work and home.

mindful person


ALLERGYAWARE – is a free, online course designed to help people living with potentially life-threatening allergies, their families, caregivers and others to understand the basics of anaphylaxis. Learn ways to reduce risks at home and other places and the recommended emergency treatment with this award-winning course. Learn more.

ATHLETICS AND RECREATION – McMaster Athletics and Recreation has a large variety of instructional classes that are available to McMaster faculty and staff. These activities for your mind help support your mental well-being! Classes are always “FREE to Try” during the first week of the program. Membership is not required for instructional programs. Learn more.

IGERICARE – Are you a caregiver or family member of a person living with dementia? Access free, easy to understand, online lessons about all aspects of this disease as well as practical advice about caregiving at Developed by experts in geriatrics, mental health and e-learning at McMaster University.  Learn more.

KNIT HAPPENS – Well-being at your fingertips! A knitting group comprised of McMaster staff, faculty and students meets every other week to knit, chat and de-stress. Don’t know how to knit or crochet? Come along and learn from one of the seasoned yarn crafters!  Knitting is an excellent way to de-stress, meet new people or just make some beautiful handknits! Join any time. Meetings run weekly on Wednesdays in MUSC. The first meeting is September 11 in MUSC 318. Contact Ricki or Shelly by email or visit their website for meeting dates and locations.

MENTAL HEALTH WEEK – Every year in May, Mental Health Week events and activities are hosted at McMaster. These events range from workshops to stress relieving activities. Mental Health Week is a celebration of mental health, and an opportunity to raise awareness. Learn more here.


  • Self-Guided Campus Sculpture Tour – A self-guided, outdoor walking tour of selected sculptures from the collection of the McMaster Museum of Art and McMaster University is available any day. Stop by the Museum lobby to pick up a map OR follow along with their audio guide using your mobile device by clicking here.
  • Lunchtime Sketching – Thursdays – drop in between 12 and 1:30 p.m.
    Take a break from your work day and drop in for an unguided drawing session at the McMaster Museum of Art. Try your hand at pencil, conte, and charcoal drawing in the galleries. It’s free – every Thursday. Art materials and inspiration provided. No registration required.

PLAY & LEARN – Are you looking for fun, engaging, and easy to play games and activities to do with your child to support their development? Play & Learn provides expert-reviewed activities focused on practicing skills in the areas of thinking and learning, social and emotional development, movement and language for children 18 months to 6 years of age. Developed by experts in child development and e-learning at McMaster University. Get playing at! Learn more.

SCHOOL OF THE ARTS – The School of the Arts offers a variety of live music performances to the public throughout the fall and winter academic terms. Join them at their Friday Evening and Tuesday Lunchtime Concert Series, featuring artists from around the community and the world! Or, make plans to attend a concert brought to you by McMaster’s talented student ensembles!

SUMMER YOGA – During the summer months, leave your office/lab behind and wander over to Alumni House on Tuesdays at 12:15 for a chance to energize your body and mind with a 30-minute outdoor yoga class hosted by Alumni Advancement.  The yoga series is drop in and pay-as-you-go (suggested $2 – $5). Learn more here.

THERAPY DOGS – The Healthy Workplace Committee, in partnership with Benny the Therapy Dog, offers an opportunity for employees to de-stress over lunch. Benny and his owner will meet you outside the Burke Science Building for a short walk before interacting with Benny. Don’t forget to dress for the weather and bring your water bottle. For more information about Benny visit his Facebook page.

GREENHOUSE – The Biology Greenhouse houses a richly diverse collection of live plants including bamboo, insect-eating cobra plants, chocolate, coffee and palm trees, sugarcane, cycads, bananas and more! The collection is always changing and increasing, so visit often to see what’s new on display. When you drop-in to the Biology Greenhouse, you will surely leave feeling inspired, refreshed and with a greater appreciation for plants. Learn more.

LOUNGES – McMaster University is committed to providing a healthy working environment for all University employees by ensuring that clean and comfortable lounge spaces are available for faculty and staff. More about the lounges here.

NATURE AT MCMASTER – We are blessed with a treasure of waterfalls, valleys, meadows, wetlands, and forests to explore and discover. The beautiful environs of West Hamilton are one of the primary reasons McMaster located here almost ninety years ago. So take some time to enjoy Cootes Paradise, McMaster Forest, the Dundas Valley, Webster’s Falls and many of the other natural riches around us. Learn more.

PRAYER/SPIRITUALITY SPACES – The McMaster Multifaith Resources website is an idea that started with the Interfaith Issues Working Group of the President’s Advisory Committee on Building an Inclusive Community, also known as PACBIC. This group has put together a comprehensive list of prayer and spirituality spaces and places on, or close to, McMaster.

HOMEWOOD HEALTH – Homewood Health is McMaster’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP). Homewood Health helps you take practical and effective steps to improve your well-being and be the best you can be. They offer a supportive, confidential and caring environment and will provide you with assessment and guidance for any challenge.

MANAGING YOUR STRESS – Looking for some ways to manage your stress? Try some of the activities outlined here.

MENTAL HEALTH APPS – Take a look at our selection of the mental health apps and see if using one can help you manage your mental well-being.

MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS SUPPORTS – Employees requiring urgent assistance due to emotional distress or mental health issues should receive immediate medical care. Here you will find a list of crisis resources for yourself or to help a colleague, friend or loved one.

MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORTS FOR MANAGERS – Resources and tools aimed at assisting managers; to support the mental health and well-being of their direct reports.

SLEEP RESOURCES – We all know that a poor night’s sleep can make us feel groggy and cranky the next day, but what many people don’t know is that an ongoing lack of restorative sleep can negatively affect work performance, stress relationships, and lead to mental health challenges. If you’re finding it hard to wind down or switch off, here are a few tips to make the transition to restful sleep easier.

YOGA AT YOUR DESK – We spend the majority of our days sitting in chairs, cars and couches; which results in poor posture, neck / shoulder tension, back problems, limited hip mobility and decreased energy levels. It’s imperative that we take time throughout the day to move our bodies to keep ourselves healthy and productive! This 5 minute office yoga will allow you to do yoga right in your chair! Learn to release tension and increase your energy levels while at work!

BELL LET’S TALK DAYBell Let’s Talk Day is a program started by Bell Canada to promote mental health education, research, awareness, and end social stigma. Each year, we support the efforts of Bell Let’s Talk Day by joining the conversation to reduce the barriers caused by stigma.

CRISIS AND MENTAL HEALTH TRAINING – Crisis and Mental Health Training is offered through the Centre for Continuing Education. You can select from a variety of industry-recognized training, including Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)Mental Health First AidsafeTALK and Crisis Prevention Training.

HOMEWOOD HEALTH E-COURSES – Self-paced, interactive, confidential learning courses targeted to personal issues (e.g. stress, mood, alcohol use, relationships, smoking cessation, resilience, money matters) and workplace issues targeted to leaders (e.g. change management, supervision training, job transitions, ethics in business) are available for individuals with extended health benefits. To learn more or access the e-Learning courses, login to Homeweb.

MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID – As part of McMaster’s ongoing commitment to providing mental health and well-being education, the University offers Mental Health First Aid training to help faculty and staff recognize individuals in distress, provide help, and support positive mental health. Learn more and register

MONTHLY WELLNESS NEWSLETTERS – Homewood Health, McMaster’s Employee and Family Assistance Program provider, produces a monthly newsletter called Life Lines. The newsletter is intended to provide employees and their family members with useful wellness information and tips. The most recent issues are available hereMany of these topics can also be accessed on Homeweb.

NATIONAL STANDARD FOR PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH AND SAFETY – The National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the workplace is a voluntary set of guidelines, tools and resources designed to promote workplace employees’ psychological health and to prevent psychological harm due to workplace factors. Learn more about the Standard and explore the resources available for you and your team.

WELLNESS NEWSLETTERS FOR MANAGERS – Homewood Health, McMaster’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) provider produces a quarterly newsletter called Vitality. This newsletter is intended for Human Resource and Occupational Health Professionals, Program Administrators, Leaders, and Key Personnel. The most recent issues are available here.