At the University Health Center, we are dedicated to supporting your holistic wellbeing. Caring for your own wellbeing is deeply important work, and if we lived in a vacuum, perhaps that would be where our commitment to wellbeing ends. But the institutions we are a part of, the systems that structure our lives, and the communities we live in shape our individual experience of wellbeing in powerful ways. With so many of these external forces outside of our control, what can we do to stay well?
Our individual wellbeing must be explored within the context of community wellbeing, “the combination of social, environmental, cultural, and political conditions identified by individuals and their communities as essential for them to flourish and fulfill their potential” (Wiseman and Brasher, 2008). In other words, in addition to building skills for supporting your own wellbeing, you must also be invested in the wellbeing of your community to experience lasting and sustainable change. To get a sense for what that looks like in practice, here are a few examples of individual and community wellness strategies around our wheel of wellness:
|Dimension||Supporting Individual Wellbeing||Supporting Community Wellbeing|
|Emotional||Regularly using a free meditation app||Destigmatizing mental illness to make mental health care more accessible|
|Physical||Eating a balance of foods that fuel your body and foods that make you happy||Expanding access to free/affordable foods|
|Social||FaceTime a friend||Providing free community programming to bring people together|
|Occupational||Have your resume reviewed at the Career Center||Offering free/affordable professional trainings and certifications|
|Spiritual||Identify 2-3 of you own core values||Access to free spaces to gather as a community|
|Financial||Utilizing a monthly budgeting tool||Advocating for well-paying jobs across experience and education level|
|Environmental||Keeping a plant in your bedroom to purify the air||Building public green space for people of all ages to enjoy|
|Intellectual||Using a planner to keep track of tasks||Growing number of local “free little libraries”|
So, what? In order to experience lasting and sustainable positive wellbeing in our own lives, the wellbeing of our community matters.
At the University Health Center, we are committed to provide opportunities to invest in the health and wellbeing of the entire UGA community. Here are a just few ways you can get involved:
- Volunteer for surveillance testing. Free COVID testing for asymptomatic students, faculty, and staff at UGA. Your participation adds to an invaluable data collection effort to ensure effective strategies for maintaining community health.
- Attend a UMatter workshop. UMatter is an upstander intervention program that supports a campus culture of care and support. Find our upcoming UMatter programs and get registered on the Involvement Network.
- Join a UHC student group. Do you want to be part of change on campus? Join a UHC student group and make your voice heard. Find out more about our six different student groups here.
Additional student wellbeing resources at the University Health Center:
- Health Promotion and the Fontaine Center
- Wellness Coaching provides students with one-on-one sessions with a Wellness Coach to help set and achieve personal goals. Wellness coaching can also help if you are simply feeling stuck and would like to work through other barriers to personal health and wellbeing. To get started with a Wellness Coach, call the Health Promotion Department at 706.542.8690.
- The Fontaine Mentor Programs support undergraduate and graduate UGA students in finding their place on campus and building tools for success. Contact Molly Dunn (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
- Nutrition Services provide nutrition education and medical nutrition therapy for students. Find out more and schedule an appointment on our website.
- #BeWellUGA programs are free wellness and prevention events facilitated by trained health educators, dietitians, mindfulness instructors, wellness coaches, and clinicians available to undergraduate and graduate UGA students. We will share ways to stay organized, strategies to wake up feeling rested, virtual workshops, and more. You can find the full list of our #BeWellUGA programs here.
- Counseling and Psychiatric Services – CAPS
- Let’s Talk is a drop-in service hosted by CAPS clinicians that offers informal, confidential consultation.
Additional student wellbeing resources at the University of Georgia:
- UGA Student Care and Outreach
- UGA Student Wellness Resources
- USG/UGA Mental Health Initiative
- UGA Student Affairs Wellbeing and Success Initiative
Wiseman, John & Brasher, Kathleen. (2008). Community Wellbeing in an Unwell World: Trends, Challenges, and Possibilities. Journal of public health policy. 29. 353-66. 10.1057/jphp.2008.16.