UGA Expands Efforts to Promote Student Mental Health and Wellbeing

Student Affairs leads an initiative to strengthen the university’s mental health and wellness offerings

A new University of Georgia initiative is enhancing campus-wide mental health and wellness resources to help students become more active, healthy, and successful.

In his 2022 State of the University Address, President Jere W. Morehead noted the increased need for mental health and wellness resources for students at UGA and across the country.

“Today’s college students face unique and challenging mental health issues,” said Morehead. “The demand for mental health services has increased as students grapple with the pandemic alongside their educational responsibilities. To address this issue, we need to foster a more supportive culture that emphasizes and supports mental health and wellbeing.

Morehead has asked Vice President of Student Affairs Victor K. Wilson to lead UGA’s efforts in this area and has dedicated $1 million in private funds over the next two years to expand and strengthen the extensive offerings. UGA Mental Health and Wellness Center.

Initial plans for the president’s funding include increasing clinical resources and proactive communication and programming, dedicating space on campus to support wellness and innovation, and granting innovation and research grants to students to enhance campus understanding and support approaches, to name a few. dozen new programs and services planned

Wilson announced in his 2022 State of Student Affairs address that his division will bring together related units to formally integrate wellness into their work. Reporting to a new Associate Vice President for Student Welfare, units include the University Health Center, Student Care and Outreach, Recreational Sports, Disability Resource Center and Disability Services. university tests. In addition to several medical clinics, the University Health Center includes Counseling and Psychiatry Services (CAPS); Health promotion; Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention (RSVP) and the Fontaine Centre, which provides substance abuse prevention, early intervention and recovery support. Together, these units facilitate more than one million student interactions each year.

“We are boldly stepping into the future and accelerating our work to support our students,” Wilson said. “I look forward to students realizing the great benefits these efforts will bring, and I look forward to working with students, faculty, and staff to bring this great potential to life.”

The university has significantly expanded its support for student mental health and wellbeing in recent years. In the spring of 2020, Student Affairs launched a Wellness and Success Initiative as part of its 2025 Strategic Plan, creating a campus-wide network of programs and resources and convening campus leaders to coordinate support for students. The new network positioned the university to meet the needs of students during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to implement the Georgia University System Mental Health Initiative when it was announced in fall 2020.

Building on partnerships with JED Campus and Christie Campus Health over the past two years, UGA has developed a new wellness strategic plan and launched several successful programs, including telehealth resources through online therapy assistance ( TAO) from the University Health Center, 24/7 access to CAPS, and centralized communication of wellness resources through a Well-Being Resources website, among other efforts.

Launched in August 2021, Well-Being Resources is a comprehensive website that provides convenient, efficient, and affordable access to a wide range of clinical and non-clinical resources that support student mental health and wellbeing.

Additionally, the university has raised over $1 million in private funding through the Sunshine Fund to support students in need, as well as additional funds through government and campus partners to help students in dire straits. ’emergency.

This massive effort reflects the University of Georgia’s commitment to supporting student well-being and success as a key priority for years to come.

“Together with our colleagues on campus, we have done much to strengthen our commitment to our students,” Wilson said. “But we’re not done – we’ll keep moving forward and accelerating our efforts to provide the best student experience possible.”

For more information on UGA’s wellness resources, visit https://well-being.uga.edu/.

For a list of featured wellness programs and resources supported by Morehead funding, visit https://well-being.uga.edu/about-uga-well-being-resources/

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