Last month, members of the UK community engaged in a meaningful conversation with our Board of Trustees about the essential work we are doing to meet the mental health and well-being needs of our students and broader campus community.
As President Capilouto communicated to the campus, recent tragedies we have endured together summoned us to an honest, public conversation about the very real struggles members of the UK family too often face. During this conversation, the President and Provost announced a taskforce that will evaluate our existing mental well-being services and support. In addition, members of the taskforce will make recommendations about what we can do in both the short- and long-term to better support our community’s needs.
Of course, important work is already occurring on our campus. I’d like to thank the faculty, staff, and students who already are engaging in efforts to fight the stigma associated with mental wellness and to provide crucial support, consolation and kindness to members of our community.
We truly are a campus defined by compassion and empathy; these characteristics distinguish the UK community.
I have the opportunity to tell those stories often:
- Stories about the Physical Plant Division staff member who, on a cold morning when the campus was closed, took the family of a prospective student to the top of Patterson Office Tower so they could view the campus in the comfort of a warm facility.
- Stories about the faculty member who mentored an undergraduate student with dedication and resolve, empowering that student to publish a paper as first author in a peer reviewed journal.
- Stories about the graduating student who, inspired to help her fellow Wildcats overcome various obstacles to academic and life goals, founded a scholarship program to support her peers.
This is a community that cares—a place that uplifts. I’ve seen that deep compassion in the faces of the employees who have helped our students through this difficult period.
It serves as an important reminder: as we are supporting others on our campus, we must tend to our own needs as well. In that spirit, University of Kentucky Human Resources' Work-Life is offering a series of free drop-in workshops focused on self-care.
The Self-Care Series will be presented on the third Thursday of every month through November as an open house. Each session runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., in Breckinridge Hall.
All employees are invited to attend.
The workshops speak to common themes individuals often describe to our staff in UK HR Work+Life Connections. Each workshop also offers attendees something tangible to take away from the experience. To view all 10 workshop dates and more details, please visit the Self-Care Series webpage.
We are a community defined by our people. We are stronger not only when we care for each other, as we so often do, but also when we care for ourselves.
I hope our employees will consider taking advantage of these great opportunities, as we continue to make progress, together.
Have a great week.
Eric N. Monday