Arrive and Thrive is an 18 month project funded through the Mental Health Innovation Fund from the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. The goals of the project are to examine patterns of coping behaviours and then test the effectiveness of a series of brief interventions targeting how students cope with the stresses of student life. To accomplish these goals there are three main components of the project (outlined below). As this project is intended to be innovative, we expect to try an idea in the 2015/16 school year and then proceed through iterations of it, as continuous evaluation of the project guides us towards improvement.

Arrive and Thrive

The Arrive and Thrive Online Component

“Arrive and Thrive Online” is a 15 minute on-line screening tool which incoming high school and McMaster students can use to assess their levels of stress and distress, coping and behaviours such as exercise, substance use, gambling, and screen time.

  • Students complete on-line survey questions
  • Students are offered normative feedback (their results in comparison to peers)
  • Students are offered feedback (when available) re: their level of risk or protection from risk based on their results
  • Links to campus, on-line and community resources specific to each area covered will be provided.

Students can repeat the tool as needed/wanted


“Pause” is a 1:1 session with a counsellor which allows for individualized assessment and discussion of a student’s use of substances (alcohol, marijuana, or tobacco), reasons for use and motivation to change their use. If the student is ready to make a change, support, suggestions and referrals can be offered.

Change the channel

“Change the Channel” is a series of short (4-6 week) facilitated group learning sessions, where students will engage with peers and professionals in an attempt to change a behaviour they identify as an issue for them. See the reverse of this page for more information about the Change the Channel interventions planned for the 2015/2016 academic sessions.

Koru (developed at Duke University)

An evidence-based 4-week program, specifically designed for teaching mindfulness, meditation and stress management to university students and young adults. The curriculum consists of mind-body skills, guided meditations and more, aimed at helping you open your mind and manage your stress.

Cooperative Outdoor adventure Games (COG)

Arrive and Thrive and Don’t Get Lost present COG. Take a quick break and activate by joining us for a mid-week adventure. You’ll work together to discover the secrets of the McMaster campus on foot and to clear your mind. No experience or skills required, just you and your runners.

Walk in Nature Days (WIND)

Arrive and Thrive and Outdoor Recreation (a division of Athletics and Recreation) present WIND. With WIND, you can get outside and leave your worries behind, by getting into nature with others in a positive, mutually supportive environment. No experience or skills required, just you and your hiking/walking shoes.

Exploring Change (developed at CAMH as First Contact)

Do you have a habit that you are thinking about changing or would like to change, like drinking, smoking, pot, gaming, gambling, being sedentary or over-eating? Using a variety of activities and a judgement-free approach, this 4 week group will help you figure out if you’re ready and how to make a change in your life.