Why Health and Wellness Matters For Student Success
- Research shows that student health and wellbeing is inextricably linked to academic success, retention, and persistence to graduation.
- Students who are not physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially well are more likely to leave the institution and have poorer academic performance (ACE, APA, NASPA, 2014).
- According to Iowa State University data, the four top impediments to academic performance as reported by students include stress, sleep, depression, and anxiety (NCHA, 2019, p. 5).
- Students who withdraw and do not return to higher education do so primarily from mental and behavioral health related reasons. (NAMI, 2012).
- Utilization of health services continues to increase significantly at ISU despite decreasing enrollment. This trend is also seen nationally. (Annual Report 2019; HMS, 2019).
- University presidents’ indicate that mental health and well-being is an increasing priority for their campuses and that it takes a campus community effort to improve well-being.
Preparing your Plan – How Student Health and Wellness Can Support You
Supporting student wellbeing is all of our responsibility. We all play an important role in creating a culture of wellbeing, helping connect students to resources, and helping students thrive at ISU. Student Health and Wellness offers various resources, programs, and services that you can connect students too. In addition, Student Health and Wellness can assist you in implementing health and wellness strategies in your settings to support student well-being. The following includes some actionable strategies and suggestions faculty and staff can do in their own settings to enhance student wellbeing.
All of the following below are in the PDF toolkit above.
- Join one of the Health and Wellness Committees on campus
- Participate in the Green Dot Office program to work on violence prevention strategies in your spaces.
Course or Meeting Structure and Content
- Include a health and wellness presentation, training or program in your class or meeting
- Add or adapt a Class assignment, like a reflection or paper topic, to focus on public health or wellness current issues.
- Incorporate trauma informed strategies into your classes or meetings
- Start a meeting with a short 5-10 minute discussion focused on wellbeing
- Adjust deadlines to promote sleep hygiene
- Have assignments due in Canvas by 10pm instead of midnight.
- Have all meetings end prior to 10pm.
- Include Health and Wellness Syllabus statements into your course syllabi (Page 4)
- Begin classes or meetings with a brief mindfulness exercise, deep breathing exercise, or other self-care strategy using TAO resource library.
- Have students view recorded webinars and programs from Student Counseling Services or attend a health and wellness event on campus for extra credit or a group activity.
- Incorporate breaks into longer online classes or virtual meetings. Focus these breaks on wellbeing practice like stretching, relaxing music, or mindfulness.
- Start class or a meeting by having everyone write down three things they are grateful for this week
- Share a short joyful eating recipe or video to grab attention as class is starting
Provide Information and Resources
- Share Cyclones Care materials and videos in your spaces and classes
- Request the Student Health and Wellness Resource Overview for students to complete in Canvas (40 min). This provides a detailed overview of the services and resources available to students on campus.
- Add Information to your Email Signature about Health and Wellness
- Promote Student Health and Wellness flyers/brochures in your spaces.
- Include Student Health and Wellness Resource Education PowerPoint slides at beginning or end of each lecture or meeting.
- Promote the Therapy Assistance Online (TAO) Connect self-help resource available for students, faculty, and staff.
- Follow Us and Share Social Media Content on your pages (@bewellisu, @ISUrecs, @cyclone.health, @iowastatestudentcounseling)
- Encourage students to take the Student Health and Wellness – Brief Wellbeing Screening assessment to learn more about areas of wellbeing that may be affecting them and resources for support.
- Share information about Recreation Services fitness classes, personal training, and intramurals.
- Review the Green Dot Toolkit and select a Green Dot strategy to do in your space
- Promote STI/STD testing options available to students on campus
- Make safer sex items (e.g. condoms, lubricant) available in your space. Use the free request form to get them from Student Wellness
- Promote harm reduction and safer partying by sharing Let’s Be Frank information with students
- Share promotional materials and encourage students to get their flu shot
- Encourage students to download MyState app to use the map features to find condom dispensers and public microwaves available on campus
- Promote food insecurity resources on campus including S.H.O.P campus food pantry
- Share Outdoor Recreation extended trips schedules and equipment rental options with students
Program and Education
- Promote students to do the self-guided Sleep Well Program or do this together as a group program
- Promote students to complete Kognito – Mental Health Training
- Have all staff/faculty in your department complete Kognito for Faculty/Staff Training in Learn@ISU
- Request a Green Dot overview or booster session for your class, meeting, or student group
- Watch the Recovery Ally Training to learn more about how you can support students in recovery or seeking recovery from substance use
- Encourage students to complete the self-guided Joyful Eating Program in Canvas
Completing Your Plan
Making an intentional plan to support student health and wellbeing is a great first step to set you up for success for this next academic year.
The following is a Qualtrics action plan to fill out that allows you to pick some of the strategies you want to do this year to support student well-being. The examples and strategies below are not exhaustive and there are many additional ways to support student well-being. There is space in the action plan for your to write in your own strategies!
Once you are done, you will receive an email with a summary of your plan that you can save. It will include contact information and links for support from Student Health and Wellness.
In one month, you will receive a follow up email from Qualtrics checking in on your progress with additional information on ways we can help support you.