Health & Wellness Initiative
Born from a concern for the overall safety, health, and well-being of all members of the college community, Dean Roland Mitchell assembled a team of colleagues from across the college to create and implement a comprehensive health and wellness program. The CHSE Health & Wellness Initiative is directly aligned with the college’s mission to enhance quality of life across the lifespan. Utilizing the World Health Organization’s (2020) definition of health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (p. 1) and wellness as “the active pursuit of activities, choices and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health” (Global Wellness Institute, n.d.), this innovative program seeks to add to existing support mechanisms across the campus and promote well-being for the college.
Goal: Build & Sustain a Culture of Well-Being
The central goal of the program is to help build and sustain a culture of well-being, which encompasses health and wellness (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018), across the college. To do so, the CHSE Health & Wellness Initiative leverages talent and other resources across and beyond the university to effectively support health and wellness across eight (8) dimensions: physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, occupational, financial, and environmental (SAMHSA, 2016).
Strategy #1: Create & Maintain a Well-Being Resources Repository
The first strategy of the initiative is to provide a repository of resources (organized by the Eight Dimensions of Wellness, SAMHSA, 2016) that are dedicated to supporting a healthy lifestyle and promoting well-being. This will include a series of interactive activities, links to university and free national resources, videos, and other engaging materials.
Strategy #2: Community Building Experiences
The second strategy is to develop community building experiences including cohort-based programs, activities, and other initiatives that are driven by the CHSE constituents’ needs identified in the 2020 CHSE Personal and Professional Development Needs Analysis.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2018). Well-being concepts. https://www.cdc.gov/hrqol/wellbeing.htm#three
Global Wellness Institute. (n.d.). What is wellness? https://globalwellnessinstitute.org/
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). (2016, April). Promoting wellness: A guide to community action.
World Health Organization. (2020). Basic documents: Forty-ninth edition (including amendments adopted up to 31 May 2019). World Health Organization.[A2]
Eight Dimensions of Wellness
Emotional wellness is defined as coping effectively with life and creating satisfying relationships.
Goals for your Emotional Wellness
- Become more aware of your feelings and accept them as valid indicators of what you are experiencing
- Develop the ability to experience and appropriately express a wide range of emotions such as humor, joy, fear, anger, frustration, appreciation, sadness, etc.
- Develop assertiveness and confrontation skills
- Develop positive feelings about yourself by instituting healthy self-esteem and self-concept
- Develop the skills to handle stress, irritations, crises, etc.
- Explore and clarify your own sexual identity
- Develop, establish, and maintain intimate and loving relationships
Environmental wellness is defined as occupying pleasant, stimulating environments that support well-being.
Goals for your Environmental Wellness
- Become aware of how your external environment affects you
- Redesign your environments to more effectively support and reinforce your needs
- Be concerned about the future of the local, national and world ecology and climate
- Minimize your contribution to the destruction of the outdoor environment
Financial wellness is defined as satisfaction with current and future financial situations.
Goals for your Financial Wellness
- Learning how to gain control of your finances so they work for you.
- Understanding how to manage a budget, credit cards, checking and savings accounts, investments, retirement funds, etc.
- Handling finances without too much stress.
- Setting and making progress toward your short- and long-term goals.
- Not spending too much time and effort handling your finances.
- Know the resources available to you on campus to help if you are experiencing a financial issue such as food insecurity, homelessness, economic crisis, or financial management.
Intellectual wellness is defined as recognizing one's creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills.
Goals for your Intellectual Wellness
- Strive to be open to new experiences and ideas in all areas of your life
- Expand your ability to create, develop, analyze, critique, concentrate, understand, evaluate, problem solve, predict, comprehend, etc.
- Feel competent in intellectual and academic activities by improving your skills in academics, studying, time management, stress management, note taking, listening, and public speaking.
- Develop a love for learning and philosophy for “life-long learning”
Occupational wellness is defined as gaining personal satisfaction and enrichment from one’s work, whether that be academic work while in college or a job after graduation.
Goals for your Occupational Wellness
- Increase your awareness of the wide variety of major/career opportunities available to you
- Challenge societal sex role and other barriers that limit major/career choices
- Explore your interests, skill, and values and needs and how they relate to major/career choice
- Choose a major/career direction that reflects your values, preferences, interests and skills
- Understand the relationship between your major/career choice and other parts of your life such as with your family, spouse/partner, leisure activities, friends.
- Develop effective job-related skills in assertiveness, confrontation, feedback, time management, active listening, motivation, etc.
- Understand how many people change their major in college and their career directions many times throughout their lives
Physical wellness consists of recognizing the need for physical activity, healthy foods, and sleep, as well as preventing illness and injury or managing chronic health conditions.
Goals for your Physical Wellness
- Understand how and why your body works
- Feel comfortable with your physical appearance
- Make informed choices about your body and sexuality
- Feel competent at physical activities
- Develop well-balanced and healthy eating habits
- Become a responsible drinker or a non-drinker
- Become aware of how a lack of sleep, stress, and non-activity affect your body
- Become aware of how food, beverages, drugs, chemicals, additives, and caffeine affect your body
- Engage in regular movement to improve flexibility, strength, aerobic, and cardiovascular health.
- Develop and cultivate leisure activities
- Seek medical care when needed for illness, injury and preventative care.
Social wellness is defined as developing a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support system.
Goals for your Social Wellness
- Develop the ability to create and maintain close friendships
- Feel comfortable interacting with diverse individuals and groups
- Become aware of your responsibilities for the welfare of different communities
- Understand and accept those with a different sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, life experience, etc.
- Understand the concepts of sex and gender role stereotyping and explore appropriate sex and gender role behavior for yourself
- Develop a "global consciousness" by recognizing the interrelatedness of cultural, global and national issues and needs
- Work toward becoming a responsible world citizen
Spiritual wellness is defined as expanding a sense of purpose and meaning in life, including one's morals and ethics. It may or may not involve religious activities.
Goals for your Spiritual Wellness
- Explore your personal values
- Question and clarify your values
- Become aware of how values develop and change from life experiences
- Become aware of the differences in others’ values
- Search for meaning in your own life
- Develop integrity by acting in ways that are consistent with your values
- Explore the issues related to mortality and your own life and death