Boston University administration announced the launch of a new student wellness initiative, the Wellbeing Project, Tuesday. The project aims to emphasize the importance of student wellbeing at BU and create a larger platform on campus for students to participate in conversations and activities that promote health and wellness.
Carrie Landa, co-chair of The Wellness Project Steering Committee, director of Behavioral Medicine and associate director of Student Health Services said the Wellbeing Project was primarily inspired by feedback from BU students.
“Through conversations, campus data, and feedback, we understand that our students want an environment that prioritizes student wellbeing and recognizes that how they feel matters,” Landa wrote in an email. “It became apparent that there needed to be more done to engage our campus in supporting our students.”
Haneen Ahmida, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, said she is looking forward to bringing the conversation surrounding student wellbeing to the mainstage.
“I enjoy being able to talk as a group about these kinds of issues, because I feel like everybody goes through it but no one really seems to talk about it as much,” Ahmida said.
Katharine Mooney, the Steering Committee co-chair and director of Wellness and Prevention Services wrote in a statement that although BU has a number of outlets and resources for student wellbeing, resources can be difficult to find at a big school like BU.
“One of the things that really came through loud and clear is that BU is a big place,” Mooney wrote. “Part of the goal of this project is to bring some cohesion to existing programs, events and resources.”
In addition to supporting students’ personal wellbeing, Mooney wrote in an email The Wellbeing Project has the potential to bolster overall student success.
“We hope to shift our campus culture to recognize well being as an essential component of students’ success,” Mooney wrote. “When students feel better, they’re more likely to achieve their goals both inside and outside the classroom.”
Ian Pompilus, a junior in CAS, said he thinks it will be beneficial to have BU administrative support for student wellbeing made more visible on campus.
“I would like it to be more publicly known the types of wellbeing [resources] that they have going on,” Popilus said.
Students’ voices inspired the Wellbeing Project, and project directors hope students will also be principal drivers of the initiative. The Wellbeing Project offers grants to student organizations or individuals who have an idea for an event or initiative that will promote student wellness on campus.
“What we hope is that student orgs, individual students, friends, whoever is seeing some need…will submit an idea to us,” Mooney wrote. “We’re definitely committed to hearing students ideas for how to make our campus a healthier place and helping them find avenues to bring their ideas to reality.”
Students can look forward to a number of pop-up events hosted by the Wellbeing Project throughout the year, including a Week of Wellbeing, consisting of a fair, panel discussions, a National Depression Screening Day, and Sex in the Dark, a glow-in-the-dark “sexpert” panel. The Wellbeing Project officially launched at the Sustainability Festival at Marsh Plaza Thursday. The project will launch on the Boston University Medical Campus on Wednesday, Sept. 25.