Shannon Monnat, associate professor of sociology and Lerner Chair for Public Health Promotion, is the principal investigator for a five-year research project that will examine the impacts of state COVID-19 mitigation policies on adult psychological health, drug overdose and suicide….
Wellness Initiative Offers Expanded Health and Wellness Offerings for Faculty and Staff
The Syracuse University Wellness Initiative supports faculty and staff wellness in a variety of ways. In addition to lifestyle change programs such as the virtual Diabetes Prevention Program, the initiative offers activities infusing participants with happiness, gratitude, positivity and mindfulness.
Earlier this semester, nearly 200 faculty and staff took part in the Happiness Experiment. Everyone who registered received a jolt of sunshine in their inboxes three times a week. The uplifting emails were courtesy of the Wellness Initiative and encouraged participants to integrate components of happiness, gratitude and compassion into their daily lives.
“It’s good to focus on things that make us smile during turbulent times,” one participant wrote.
Said another, “The Happiness Experiment helped me combat my ever-present depression.”
Many agree that the experiment helped them take responsibility for their own happiness, leading to more fulfilment at home and work as well as in the community.
Gail Grozalis, the initiative’s executive director, is not surprised by the results. She says that as COVID-19 wears on, the mental health of the University’s workforce is a top priority.
“We need to mindfully and intentionally make time for things that bring us joy and benefit our health. Mental health activities not only improve our mood and productivity, but also reduce stress and anxiety,” she says, adding that other similar programs are in the offing.
Since March, the Wellness Initiative has increased the scope of its mental health and emotional well-being programming. This is particularly true with Carebridge, the University’s faculty and staff assistance program. In addition to expanding its network of counselors who provide telephonic and video mental health support, Carebridge has uploaded numerous coronavirus-related webinars and has formed online support groups, both live and on-demand.
“All of these things help us cope with the simultaneous stressors caused by the pandemic,” Grozalis says.
To learn more about Carebridge’s suite of integrated, accessible and confidential services and resources, visit wellness.syr.edu/carebridge.
Information about the Wellness Initiative’s current and upcoming offerings is at wellness.syr.edu.
Emotional well-being resources may be found at wellness.syr.edu/mental-and-emotional-well-being-resources.