Thursday, October 21, 2021

Well-being is integral to individual and collective success, and the University of Iowa is taking important steps to champion well-being and create a health promoting campus community.

The Well-Being and Mental Health Campus Collaborative is a structured, coordinated effort to substantively improve the health and well-being of all members of the University of Iowa community. The collaborative consists of participants who oversee mutually reinforcing activities around health and well-being on campus or in the community. The group is led by Tanya Villhauer, assistant dean, well-being and basic needs, and Joni Troester, senior assistant vice president and deputy chief HR officer.

The Well-Being and Mental Health Campus Collaborative is charged with outlining strategic priorities and a 3-year plan to meet the vision for the University of Iowa to:

  • embed well-being and mental health into all aspects of campus culture, and
  • leverage research, collaboration, and action to improve the well-being of our campus, the state, and the world

The group’s work is sponsored by Sarah Hansen, vice president for student life; Kevin Kregel, executive vice president and provost; Marty Scholtz, vice president for research, and Cheryl Reardon, chief human resources officer and associate vice president.

“The collaborative will help us achieve our campus-wide goals of well-being, student success, and faculty/staff success in a strategic, collaborative manner. Students, faculty, and staff will have greater access to resources, programs, and spaces across campus to support their overall well-being,” said Hansen. “We will also be leveraging the full range of our considerable research strengths to advance knowledge about individual and community approaches to health and well-being.”

At the UI, well-being is defined as a process focused on lifelong learning that promotes and sustains optimal health, personal connectedness, meaningful experiences, and a purposeful life.

It is both an individual and community-wide responsibility that consists of emotional, creative, social, spiritual, physical, financial, intellectual, environmental, and occupational dimensions.

The collaborative will:

  • Set yearly strategic priorities to embed well-being and mental health into all aspects of campus culture for students, faculty, and staff.
  • Lead collaboration to elevate and expand current research, enhance campus-community partnerships, and identify gaps in student, faculty, and staff mental health and well-being programs and services.
  • Develop and communicate a cohesive framework that supports the faculty/staff and student success pillars of the upcoming strategic plan and enacts the elements of a health promoting campus.
  • Ensure well-being and mental health strategies are inclusive and culturally responsive.
  • Develop key performance indicators and assess progress toward our strategic priorities.