Leading the Wellness Revolution
- Monday, October 31st, 2022
In the first half of the fall semester, it felt truly remarkable watching students mingling and enjoying the outstanding weather and events on campus. Just recently as I walked up the hill, I heard a student who was speaking on the phone say, “It’s hoppin’ out here.” She is absolutely right--the substantial number of students enjoying our beautiful campus has boosted energy and morale. This student’s excitement reminded me of how important overall health and wellness is for this new generation of students and why it should be a top priority for universities across the nation.
Since one indication of a flourishing society is a healthy workforce, and since universities remain prime workforce generators, many people in higher education feel universities must lead the wellness revolution. Today, Americans are experiencing loneliness and depression at higher rates than ever before, and Generation Z, those born after 1997, scored the highest for loneliness. Students who feel emotionally supported – those who find a mentor or faculty member on campus who cares about them and keeps them excited about learning – are three times as likely to report having emotional well-being after graduation. At WKU, it’s important that faculty and staff support the well-being of all of our students by striving to develop these supportive relationships.
Of course, it is not just students who benefit from overall health and well-being on a university campus. So too do staff and faculty. WKU is committed to the health and wellness of students, faculty, and staff and continues to invest in options for helping every individual live a healthy lifestyle. This includes programs such as:
Campus Recreation & Wellness – provides all recreation and wellness services including aquatics, health education, and nutrition.
Counseling & Testing Center - provides mental health and behavioral counseling for students struggling with stress, depression, and anxiety.
Employee Assistance Program – provides faculty and staff free, confidential, short-term counseling—as well as referrals and access to educational tools and resources—for a variety of personal matters, including marital/relationship problems, drug and alcohol abuse, parenting, child and elder care, adoption, certain legal matters, stress management and financial planning.
Graves Gilbert Clinic at WKU – provides on-campus healthcare services for WKU students, faculty, staff, and community.
WellU - an online student wellness program designed to promote health and wellness related programs and services available at WKU.
The College of Health and Human Services started the Student Wellness Navigator Program - a comprehensive program for first-time freshman and transfer students that is focused on the wellness wheel, or the eight dimensions of wellness. The two full-time Student Wellness Navigators serve as resources to help students find their niche on campus, get connected, and experience a better and more balanced quality of life.
While our tendency is to expect the university and our supervisors to guide us toward a healthy professional culture that promotes well-being, keep in mind that for a campus wellness revolution to take place, it will require all of us to pitch in. So, I ask the question, what can we do in the coming months to continue to promote well-being on campus?
Robert "Bud" Fischer
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Some of the links on this page may require additional software to view.