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Healthy Workplace Initiatives Program

The Healthy Workplace Initiatives Program (HWIP) is an annual fund available to UBC departments and units to support grassroots activities that promote wellbeing in the workplace.

About the Healthy Workplace Initiatives Program (HWIP)

The program provides start-up funds and support for health-related, sustainable initiatives. You can apply for funding for programs that include yoga or fitness classes, building a community garden or investing in mental health training in your workplace.

Purpose of the funding

  • Provide a de-centralized approach to promoting health and wellbeing 
  • Departments to take responsibility of their own health and wellbeing 
  • To enable units and departments to create and maintain healthy work environments
  • Intended to build capacity and knowledge within units 
  • To support the introduction of healthy initiatives intended to be adopted long term by the department

Initiative requirements

  • Focus on the promotion of healthy behaviours in order to reduce or prevent  long-term illness, chronic disease or injuries;
  • Benefit as many staff and faculty members in the university community as possible;  
  • Are accompanied by a long-term plan to sustain the initiative on a continuing basis after the funding period;
2021 funding round is now closed

Successful applications

Successful applications will be selected using a lottery system. All applicants will be notified within two weeks of the application deadline.  Priority will be given to departments and units that did not receive funding in the previous round.

Each department may submit one application per year and successful applications are selected on a lottery basis until the available funding has been used up.

If your department is approved for Healthy Workplace Initiative funding, you must use the funds within one year.

The fund is based on a reimbursement model.  All successful departments will need to cover the cost of the initiatives upfront and then submit receipts for reimbursement.

Three steps to apply

  1. Select one of the funding options below:

2. Complete the online application form

3. Submit senior leader sign-off (you will receive a confirmation email containing instructions).


Making the case to your department? 

If you are looking for information for supervisors or managers to support an application for a healthy workplace initiative, we’re here to help!  See below for helpful tools and resources.

Investing in workplace health is a sound investment. Studies show the following benefits of workplace health initiatives:

  • Physical exercise, actively working on time management and increased social time help improve occupation stress (particularly among faculty). [1]
  • Active promotion of physical activity and health-related activities in the workplace reduces absenteeism and increases the overall mental health of employees. [2] [3]
  • In Canada, the majority of workplace health programs aim to improve outcomes related to employee stress, work-life balance and depression. [4]
  • Top priorities in Canadian workplaces include 1) developing workplace cultures where individuals are responsible for their health and 2) improving the mental health of employees. [5]

Making the Case for Managers (to help senior leaders understand the benefits of participation)
Evidence to support workplace health initiatives
Access your units Workplace Experience Survey data

2020 Funding Recipients

Congratulations to the 44 departments and units who will be rolling out health and wellbeing programs in 2020!

Department or unit Worksite Initiative
Allard School of Law External Relations Team Point Grey Team Health challenge
Animal Care Services Point Grey Nutrition and Healthy Eating
Arts Development & Alumni Engagement Department Point Grey Yoga/fitness
Arts First-Year Programs Point Grey Innovative New Idea
Athletics and Recreation Point Grey Mental Health Training
Campus Security Point Grey Healthy Eating
Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm Point Grey Team Health Challenge
Civil Engineering Point Grey Innovative New Idea
Dental Clinic Point Grey Yoga/Fitness Classes
Department of Family Practice Point Grey Mental Health Training
Department of Pediatrics Women and Children’s Hospital Innovative New Idea
Department of Sociology Point Grey Community Garden
Department of Zoology Point Grey Yoga/fitness
Development and Alumni Engagement Point Grey Mental Health Training
Educational and Counselling Psychology, and Special Education Point Grey Art and Creative Expression
Engineering Student Services, Applied Science Dean’s Office Point Grey Innovative New Idea
Enrolment Services – Student Support & Advising Point Grey Mental Health Training
Faculty of Arts, Development & Alumni Engagement Point Grey Yoga/fitness
Faculty of Medicine, Evaluation Studies Unit, Office of Education Point Grey Innovative New Idea
Faculty of Medicine, Office of the Executive Associate Dean, Education Point Grey Yoga/fitness
Faculty of Medicine/Faculty Affairs Point Grey Mental Health Training
Health and Wellness Okanagan Innovative New Idea
Human Resources, Workplace Health Services Okanagan Yoga/fitness
Indigenous Research Support Initiative Point Grey Mental Health Training
Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries Point Grey Community Garden
Institutional Programs Office Point Grey Team Health Challenge
Internal Communications Point Grey Art and Creative Expression
Media Relations Point Grey Nutrition and Healthy Eating
Office of Research Services Point Grey Nutrition and Healthy Eating
Office of the Vice-President, Health / UBC Health Point Grey Team Health Challenge
Office of Vice President, Research and Innovation Point Grey Team Health Challenge
Pension Administration Office Point Grey Innovative New Idea
Postgraduate Family Practice Residency Program Point Grey Yoga/fitness
Psychology Point Grey Community garden
Research Finance Point Grey Nutrition and Healthy Eating
School of Biomedical Engineering Point Grey Community Garden
School of Public Policy and Global Affairs Point Grey Innovative New Idea
Southern Medical Program Okanagan hospital site Yoga/fitness
Strategy and Decision Support Point Grey Team Health Challenge
The Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies Point Grey Art and Creative Expression
UBC Press Point Grey Nutrition and Healthy Eating
UBC Department of Psychiatry Women and Children’s Hospital Mental Health Training
UBC Sauder School of Business Point Grey Mental Health Training
Vancouver Summer Program Point Grey Nutrition and Healthy Eating
Vice-Provost International – St. John’s College and Vancouver Summer Program Point Grey Arts and Creative Expression
VPRI Budget Team Point Grey Mental Health Training


    Sign up for the monthly Healthy UBC e-Newsletter to stay informed about HWIP criteria and application deadlines.

    For more information please contact Truelove Twumasi, Workplace Wellbeing Programs Specialist: t.twumasi@ubc.ca, 604 827 2350

    [1] Arabia, S., Kokash, H. & Arabia, S. Faculty Perception of Stress and Coping Strategies in a Saudi Private University?: An Exploratory Study. Can. Cent. Sci. Educ. 4, 137–149 (2011).
    [2] Bhui, K. S., Dinos, S., Stansfeld, S. A. & White, P. D. A Synthesis of the Evidence for Managing Stress at Work: A Review of the Reviews Reporting on Anxiety, Depression, and Absenteeism. J. Environ. Public Health 2012, 1–21 (2012).
    [3] Chu, A. H. Y., Koh, D., Moy, F. M. & Muller-Riemenschneider, F. Do workplace physical activity interventions improve mental health outcomes? Occup. Med. (Chic. Ill). 64, 235–245 (2014).
    [4] Buck Consultants, Working Well: A Global Survey Of Health Promotion And Workplace Wellness Strategies. 2009. Print. Executive Summary.
    [5] Towers Watson, Trends And Directions On Workforce Health And Productivity. 2014. Print. 2013/2014 Staying at Work Survey.






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