Community Mindset Program

 

The Office of the Executive Vice President/Vice President Academic Affairs has provided sponsorship funds, supplemented by both Dr. Glass and Dr. Crace waiving their symposium speaker honorariums, to support student well-being initiatives. Each of the four university student mental health subgroups (UIUC, UIS, UIC and UICCOM) will receive $5,000 to implement a student focused well-being initiative.

Each initiative should:

  • Promote mindsets and behaviors that are conducive to positive student mental well-being.
  • Deliver messages that counter or help deconstruct toxic norms that contribute to stress and distress.
  • Encourage a greater sense of support and authentic connection among members of the university community.

Descriptions of the approved initiatives for Spring 2022 and Fall 2022 are below.

 

UIUC | Supporting Wellness Spaces

Wellness Spaces is a prevention program concept using a community approach. All members of the university community benefit when we establish dedicated wellness spaces. This benefit is not limited to the direct outcomes from engaging in the space, but also in the demonstrating a commitment to student mental health and well-being. The benefits of having dedicated spaces that integrate a health and wellness approach are obvious and the goal of the program is to enhance and increase wellness spaces across campus.

Currently, there are several offices and places on campus that offer wellness programming and related services. For example, Campus Recreation has a student wellness program, which includes recreation facilities ranging from cardio equipment to an ice arena, and offers recreation-based wellness programming, cooking classes, and wellness incentives. The Illini Union has a Rec Room with bowling lanes and arcade games. The Counseling Center offers myriad outreach and prevention programs that all have wellness at the core. Many students mention Japan House as a wellness space with its gardens and pond. Some students visit the University Library when they need a quiet space or to clear their mind. Student members on the campus student mental health committee strongly encouraged an enhancement to and an increase in spaces dedicated to wellness.

 

UIC | Take Care of Our Flames (TCOF) 

(Combined effort between UIC West/College of Medicine sub-group and UIC East & College of Law sub-group)

This holistic theme uses UIC school spirit, to remind students to manage and care for every aspect of their mental and overall health (i.e., healthy eating, exercise, sleep, hydration, meditation, and more). Research shows that self-care activities help students to feel better which in turn supports their mental health. The theme is in keeping with Dr. Gary Glass's call to normalize what is otherwise currently seen as a disorder. 

Student organizations, colleges, departments, units, and systems within the UIC community will be asked to host one (or more) TCOF program(s) to raise awareness, educate, and promote student mental health and well-being. TCOF plans to develop and implement programming and community interventions that will provide a broad menu of offerings meeting the unique needs of UIC students.

This "Call for Programs" will include a Media Kit which provides Student Mental Health Community Mindset focused text (slogans, tag lines, positive messages) and images to ensure a cohesive message is being shared with students, regardlass of which department, college, or student organization is hosting the program. A "Take Care of Our Flames" website will be created to house events created by campus partners and offerings will be advertised through UIC Today and UIC Life. TCOF images will be shared throughout the campus on websites, monitors, posters, and giveaways such as the key chains or Microfiber wipes.

 

UIS | Mental Health First Aid

UIS will focus on training as many people as necessary in Mental Health First Aid, continuing the community-based approach to mental health at UIS. Mental Health First Aid is a nationally recognized training program that aims to give people the necessary skills to respond appropriately to a person experiencing a mental health crisis. UIS will utilize this program to help train individuals from all departments on campus.

UIS' goal is to have trained at least one individual from all departments by the end of 2022. With the secondary goal of training all individuals that work in Residence Life, Police Department, Academic Advising, Health Services, Athletic Department, and any other departments considered to have high engagement with students.