Health and Wellness

Wellness matters

At Okanagan College, we take the health and wellness of our students and employees seriously. Our team is committed to investing in you, as you navigate the highs and lows of being a student and employee. Explore our page for resources, important contacts and other information pertaining to your wellness.

What is wellness?

Wellness is characterized by feelings of positivity and happiness and realizing one's full potential, often as a result of the holistic and strength-based pursuit of health. It is about flourishing physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. We firmly believe that having a healthy mind and body contribute to academic and career success. We have a responsibility and opportunity to impact positively on the health and wellness of our students and employees.

Okanagan Charter

Okanagan College has formally adopted the Okanagan Charter, An International Charter for Health Promoting Universities and Colleges, signifying the institution’s continued commitment to health and well-being at its campuses.

Community wellness resources

Crisis/Suicide Support

1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433): for individuals who are or know someone who is having thoughts of suicide. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and in up to 140 languages. 

Youth Space

A place for any youth, under 30, that is experiencing any sort of crisis to come and talk. Open between 6pm - Midnight (PST). Online chat (youthspace.ca), or SMS text chat (778-783-0177).

Kelowna doctor referral

Okanagan College can connect you to a family doctor located in Kelowna.  If you are a current Okanagan College student without access to a family doctor and require consistent primary care, complete the form to get a doctor referral.  Students that meet the requirements will have access to a family doctor for the duration of their studies at Okanagan College.

HealthLink BC

HealthLink BC is for non-urgent medical consultation or information on thousands of health topics. Go to www.HealthLinkBC.ca or call 8-1-1; available 24 hours/day.

TELUS Health MyCare

Get healthcare from home. TELUS Health MyCareTM lets you see a doctor* and other services from your phone, where and when it's convenient for you. *Doctor consultations for BC residents are covered under the Medical Services Plan (MSP). Health coverage or a fee applies to certain services (e.g. dietitian) 

PocketWell app

The PocketWell app, developed as a companion app to the Wellness Together Canada resource,  helps users better track their mental health status over time and provides quick access to counselling services free of charge.

On-campus health and wellness resources

Okanagan College Student Wellness Peer Ambassador program is focused on supporting the physical, emotional, academic/career, social, creative, spiritual, environmental, financial and intellectual well-being of students. It is their role to coordinate and deliver events and activities, often in partnership with others, according to these diverse yet equally important areas of wellness. It is a holistic endeavour. 

Roles and Responsibilities 

Student Wellness Peer Ambassadors are required to adhere to the following responsibilities:

  • Participate in core training designed to assist you in carrying out your duties
  • Strongly consider participating in other training opportunities (e.g. Mental Health First Aid, Bystander Training, etc.)
  • Commit to developing a strong understanding of wellness and wellness-related services on campus and
  • in community
  • Develop and deliver engaging health and wellness events and activities
  • Get involved with or provide support to health and wellness events and activities coordinated by others
  • Attend and participate in regular meetings with your supervisor and/or fellow Ambassadors
  • Communicate to your supervisor your needs in relation to performing your work effectively or anything else that is important to your work as an Ambassador
  • Perform your job to the best of your abilities

Become a Student Wellness Ambassador 

The Kelowna, Salmon Arm and Vernon campuses are still looking to hire more Student Wellness Peer Ambassadors who organize and deliver activities to support student health and wellness. The Wellness Peer Ambassador provides information, resources and referrals related to enhancing health and wellness as required in a welcoming and inclusive way. To apply go to Okanagan.bc.ca/workhere and click on Student Employment. Under On-Campus jobs select "Wellness Peer Ambassador - Outreach & Programming". Application deadline is April 30,2020.

The Spiritual Multi-Faith Space is inclusive to students and employees, and is located on the third floor of the Kelowna campus Library (L Building).

Okanagan College Culinary and Pastry Arts students are launching an innovating new program designed to hone their skills while providing nutritious meals free of charge for fellow students who are struggling financially.

Students can apply to request a meal by emailing: ocservesup@ocsu.ca

Meals will be available daily to students in both online and in-person classes, and accessed via a voucher system managed by the OCSU Student Pantry.

If you are struggling to make ends meet, you can register with the Central Okanagan Food Bank and get a food hamper once a month.

For program information and how to register, please click on the following links:  Kelowna  and West Kelowna

The Pantry is a student foodbank on the Kelowna campus which is run by the OCSU. The Pantry is routinely stocked with a variety of non-perishable breakfast, lunch, and dinner items as well as basic hygiene and toiletry items. Students are welcome to help themselves to what they are in need of every week. See the OCSU website for specific details on usage.

Book a counselling appointment

Counselling resources

Health and medical coverage

Regarding health-care coverage, there are a few things to be aware of. There are two types of coverage:

  • Basic healthcare coverage through the province's Medical Services Plan (MSP). Basic medical services covers things like doctor and hospital visits, lab work, X-rays etc. Everyone should have this coverage.
  • Extended health. These benefits are additional health-care services and provide full or partial payment of things like prescriptions, dental services, and paramedical services. Okanagan College has a medical and dental extended health plan for students through Okanagan College Student's Union.

Basic medical coverage

For students who are residents of BC and turning 19, MSP will send a letter to your parents. The letter advises your parents that their coverage of you, as a dependent, will end on the last day of the month you turn 19. Unless the parents request otherwise, MSP will automatically set up a new self-administered account for you. Initially, 100 percent premium assistance will be provided (if the residency requirements for premium assistance are met). Your parents have the option of continuing to cover you as a dependent if you are single, supported by them and attending school full-time, but will need to contact MSP with details.

If you are coming from out of province, you or your parent(s) can continue paying the healthcare insurance premiums (monthly payments) in your home province or country to maintain your coverage. Alternatively, if you plan on living in B.C. for over 3 months, then you can apply for B.C. Medical by filling out the Application For Enrollment. This process takes up to 3 months so you should apply soon after arriving in B.C. Out of province medical services will often cover you for those first 3 months during the transition, but check with your individual plan for details.
If you earned less than $28,000 in the previous tax year, you can also apply for premium assistance. If this is the case, whether you are new to B.C. or have existing coverage, fill out the premium assistance application.
As well, once you are a B.C. resident and enrolled with the Medical Services Plan (MSP), register with Fair PharmaCare to receive your maximum assistance. Fair PharmaCare is the largest of the drug coverage plans helping B.C. residents with the cost of eligible prescriptions and medical supplies.

Extended health coverage for students

Okanagan College has an extended health plan for students through the Okanagan College Students' Union. All full time students are automatically registered with the Extended Medical and Dental Benefits through Greenshield. For the benefits covered under this plan, check the Greenshield Plan website. If you already have extended health coverage, then you can obtain a waiver form through the student's union to get a refund for the fee that you have paid. If you choose to carry on with the plan, then obtain a health card and pamphlet regarding this coverage from the student's union at the beginning of the semester. For more information you can email the student's union at health-dental@ocsu.ca. Vernon students can contact Vernon Students Association OC.