Health Promotion works from five philosophical foundations. Each one contributes to a space in which every individual can feel comfortable seeking support or information. These five philosophies are:

The Choice Model

The choice model does not encourage or discourage behaviours, but respects that students have the right to make their own decisions regarding their lives and bodies. We strive to provide students with the appropriate information for them to make informed choices about the challenges they face. We allow students to freely make choices that best suit their needs and lifestyles.

Safe Space

A space that is inclusive and strives to eliminate discrimination against people experiencing all forms of oppression, such as homophobia, transphobia, racism, sexism, ableism and classism. Here are some examples of inclusive language.

Harm-reduction model

The Wellness Education Centre uses the harm reduction model when providing educational resources and programs to students on campus. The harm-reduction model believes it is more effective to provide health resources that will decrease the risk associated with high risk behaviours, such as needle use and unprotected sex, rather than prohibit these activities.


Sex-positive is a form of sexual health promotion that focuses on positive attitudes towards sexuality rather than using scare tactics, or focusing on the negative consequences of engaging in unsafe behaviour. It recognizes that sexual health is a basic human right and challenges heteronormative ideals of sexuality.

Health at Every Size

The Health at Every Size philosophy believes that there is natural diversity in body sizes and recognizes that health can be achieved at any size. It does not promote the pursuit of health for weight loss, but rather the pursuit of health for health itself. It promotes eating according to your body’s natural cues, and exercising for pleasure and its associated health benefits, as opposed to fat burning.

Generously shared from The University of Guelph’s Wellness Education Centre.