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Wellness Leadership Institute Workshops Boost Students’ Well-being
In a semester where health and wellness have become even more important, the Wellness Leadership Institute at the Barnes Center at The Arch centers around the complete well-being of students—mind and body.
The Wellness Leadership Institute’s educational workshops are helping to educate students on all the different dimensions of wellness: physical, environmental, intellectual, career, emotional, social, financial and spiritual, all while maintaining focus on diversity, equity and inclusion.
“The idea of the Wellness Leadership Institute and what it provides to students is a centralized place for a variety of different workshops and opportunities for skill building and education that address the holistic health and well-being of students,” says Katelyn Cowen, director of health promotion at the Barnes Center at the Arch.
Students can participate in over 45 different workshops with new ones being added regularly according to student needs. The workshops cover everything from alcohol safety to healthy eating on a budget.
If students participate in a workshop from all of the nine different dimensions of wellness, they can earn a Wellness Leadership Institute certificate and a graduation medallion.
Students can sign up for workshops through the Wellness Portal. To learn more about using the Wellness Portal, students are invited to visit the Barnes Center at The Arch website. Workshops are offered live virtually, in-person [in-person activities are currently on pause, as announced last week], recorded video or in multiple of these formats, allowing students to decide which option works best for them.
Additionally, the institute offers the opportunity for faculty and student organizations to refer students to programs, and the institute can give attendance data back to the organization or faculty member. This can be organized through the Wellness Education Request Form.
“For many of our workshops, peer educators are facilitating the workshops to their peers, and that’s been a really positive experience for students to really hear from their peers who really have a great sense of what their fellow students are needing,” Cowen said.
Several workshops are both designed and delivered by peer educators, which creates a more relaxed experience for students when talking about topics that can sometimes be awkward. “It’s more so college students explaining to other college students how they can live a healthier lifestyle,” says Be Wise Peer Educator Megan Leichtman ’22.
Leichtman’s favorite presentation is one on alcohol safety. “It debunks a lot of myths about alcohol use, which we think is pretty important especially on our campus,” she says.
Some workshops that are popular among students are the Be Well SU workshop, which touches on many different aspects of wellness and offerings within the Barnes Center at The Arch, alcohol safety, anti-hazing and Stop Bias workshops.
The Wellness Leadership Institute is also open to creating new workshops on topics that students request. Students can request exploring a new workshop idea by emailing email@example.com or speaking to a peer educator.
Understanding wellness is extremely important, and can have a positive effect on students’ daily lives.
“I gave some advice to people in my sorority member class about harm prevention and they used my advice,” Leichtman says. “I just remember them every year saying to the new members what I said to them, and I just thought that was cool I had such an impact.”