Notice: Information and plans for upcoming academic terms. Learn more.

U of R Nursing student creates wellness toolkits aimed at improving mental wellness

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: November 3, 2020 10:00 a.m.

First-year nursing student Callie Morhart with the wellness toolkits she created
First-year nursing student Callie Morhart with the wellness toolkits she created Photo: courtesy of Callie Morhart

A first-year University of Regina nursing student and scholarship recipient has put together a collection of wellness toolkits that address different issues related to mental wellbeing and mental health. 

Callie Morhart, a student in the Saskatchewan Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing (SCBScN) program, received the 2020 Hayley and Cayden Wourms (nee Wilcock) Memorial Scholarship worth $3,500. In the scholarship application, Morhart had to answer the question, “how do you plan to make a difference in the world?” In both her scholarship application and interview, she talked about becoming a nurse and how that would make a difference in the world, as well as her idea to create the wellness toolkits and what she hoped to achieve with them. 

11-031.jpg
The Kids Calm Down toolkit contains
items such as silly putty, a fidget
spinner, and a “How Are You Feeling?”
poster. Photo: courtesy of Callie Morhart.

Morhart was awarded the scholarship, and dedicated $500 of the $3,500 she received to creating the kits. Currently there are four toolkits – General Wellness, Sleep, Self-Harm Prevention, and a Kids Calm Down Kit. Each toolkit has a variety of tools, exercises, and ideas to help manage and improve these different issues related to mental wellness. 

“I’ve had this idea for a while, and my auntie, who works in mental health,  has always talked about having something that people can go to when they’re anxious that has all of their coping techniques,” says Morhart. “When it was time to apply for this scholarship it was the perfect opportunity to get started, and it is especially relevant now with the COVID-19 pandemic and the negative impact it has had on some people’s mental health.” 

Each kit is meant to be a prototype that places like schools, hospitals, and daycares can use as an example to create their own individualized kits. There are currently three each of the General Wellness kits, Sleep kits, and Kids Calm Down kits and one Self-Harm Prevention kit. Morhart has loaned them to various schools, hospitals, and a private counselling service in her community. 

“Making your own kits and personalizing them is the therapeutic part,” says Morhart. “These kits are examples, and we really want to emphasize that they are a tool to help you get started and create your own.” 

Assiniboia Child Care Services was one of the daycares that received a Kids Calm Down kit. Director Michele Vallieres has seen both staff and children enjoy the items and exercises in the kit. 

11-032.jpg

The Sleep toolkit contains items such
as a journal and pen, a sound machine,
and a list of mindful breathing exercises.
Photo: courtesy of Callie Morhart.

"The staff and children are benefitting from using the items in the kit,” says Vallieres. “The squishy toys and spinner toys are especially well used. They do exactly what the kit is intended to do – calm!" 

Morhart is a recent graduate of Assiniboia Composite High School and also works as a Continuing Care Aide at the Ross Payant Nursing Home in Assiniboia. While working at the nursing home, she got the idea of creating another wellness toolkit in the future for patients with dementia. 

“I had the idea for a wellness toolkit for individuals with dementia, as well as anyone in long-term care,” says Morhart. “A lot of them spend quite a bit of time in their rooms and they can end up feeling quite lonely.” 

Morhart is looking forward to working in different areas of healthcare in the practicums throughout her nursing program. In the Winter 2021 semester she will be working in a long-term care facility where she may get the opportunity to expand her line of wellness kits. 

Related 

New Mental Wellness Hub a one-stop digital resource for mental wellness support

U of R researchers seeing results from a new online self-help tool to reduce depression, anxiety, and stress

The little idea that could: U of R Alumna brings joy and caring to seniors and kids alike