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:

DimensionSupporting Individual WellbeingSupporting Community Wellbeing
EmotionalRegularly using a free meditation appDestigmatizing mental illness to make mental health care more accessible
PhysicalEating a balance of foods that fuel your body and foods that make you happyExpanding access to free/affordable foods
SocialFaceTime a friendProviding free community programming to bring people together
OccupationalHave your resume reviewed at the Career CenterOffering free/affordable professional trainings and certifications
SpiritualIdentify 2-3 of you own core valuesAccess to free spaces to gather as a community
FinancialUtilizing a monthly budgeting toolAdvocating for well-paying jobs across experience and education level
EnvironmentalKeeping a plant in your bedroom to purify the airBuilding public green space for people of all ages to enjoy
IntellectualUsing a planner to keep track of tasksGrowing 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
    • 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.

Additional student wellbeing resources at the University of Georgia:


Source:

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.

Written by: Molly Dunn, Prevention Educator & Peer Mentor Coordinator, The Fontaine Center / UHC Health Promotion