UK well-being experts join forces to engage, strengthen and support campus community
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 21, 2023) — Well-being matters.
And at the University of Kentucky, we understand that ensuring the success of our community members means supporting the whole person.
It is important to provide an outstanding academic experience and opportunities for professional development, as well as address mental health and overall well-being.
With those commitments in mind, the Office for Student Success, UK Human Resources and the College of Medicine have launched a well-being collaborative conversation.
Together, they have joined forces under one goal — to increase awareness of well-being resources and enhance efforts across the entire university that will support the mental health and wellness of students, faculty and staff.
“There are so many across the entire university who are doing great things to foster a culture of well-being, and the well-being collaborative provides a space for all of us to connect and share,” Lisa Williams, associate dean for wellness and well-being in the College of Medicine, said.
Wellness is fundamental to our overall health. It impacts all aspects of our lives — how we experience school, work and time with those we care about. And now, perhaps more than ever before, mental health and well-being awareness is critical.
Through reoccurring engagement opportunities, employees who have roles with an emphasis on well-being share experiences, ideas and best practices. They also discuss resources and strategies to promote individual wellness — all to better understand and support the needs of the UK community.
“One of our key goals is ensuring we are aligned — that everyone knows what everyone else is doing across campus to promote well-being,” Corrine Williams, associate vice president for student wellbeing in the Office for Student Success, said. “We want to maximize the use of resources, and not unintentionally duplicate efforts.”
The work of countless faculty, staff, students and administrators has been essential in laying the basis for the moves UK is making to assist our entire community.
Last fall, Student Success launched TRACS (a mental health and crisis support hub) and 218-YoUK (a student-focused helpline).
In addition to their already existing comprehensive work-life and well-being resources, UK has also expanded its partnership with Headspace. Previously available to students, the expansion now provides faculty and staff the ability to access the mental health app.
At no cost, Headspace is a guide to practicing mindfulness in everyday life. You can learn how to relax, manage stress and focus your energy to become more centered and well-rested.
You can learn more about Headspace and enroll here.
“We are excited to offer Headspace as an addition to our current mental and emotional health resources,” Jody Ensman, senior manager of health and wellness in Human Resources, said. “This app will help to increase accessibility to self-care and is personal, flexible and customizable to the needs of our employees.”
Ultimately, the well-being collaborative conversation builds upon key existing services and resources by finding ways to incorporate a broader culture of wellness into day-to-day campus life.
“Our hope is that these conversations will keep wellness and well-being at the forefront of taking care of our people, while also creating a space to support and connect with those who are doing this important work across our UK community,” Ensman said.
The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 21.
If you are a UK employee who supports faculty, staff and learner well-being and would like to share your experiences, as well as engage with colleagues across campus, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $501 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.
In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.