In partnership with colleges, schools and departments, Well-being in Learning Environments helps faculty make small shifts in teaching that could make a major difference in students’ mental health and well-being.
Students with mental-health concerns are more likely to have a lower grade-point average and a higher probability of dropping out (Eisenberg, Golberstein, & Hunt, 2009). According to El Ansari and Stock (2010): “It is widely accepted that health and well-being are essential elements for effective learning.” The demand for mental-health services at the Counseling and Mental Health Center (CMHC) has increased 62 percent from academic year 2009–2010 to academic year 2016–17, while the total number of students at The University of Texas at Austin increased by less than 1 percent (CMHC Fact Sheet, 2017; The University of Texas at Austin, 2017).
Engaging students in practices that promote mental health is the responsibility of not just one department on campus, but of the entire campus community. Students at UT Austin indicate that faculty members are often seen as the “missing link” when it comes to their own well-being (Stuart & Lee, 2013). Additionally, the Okanagan Charter, an international charter for health-promoting universities and colleges, published a call to action for higher-education institutions: embed health into all aspects of campus culture, across the administration, operations and academic mandates (Okanagan Charter, 2015).
I CAME WELL-EQUIPPED WITH A WHOLE TOOLBOX OF COPING SKILLS AND EXPERIENCES, BUT EVEN I STRUGGLE WITH SOME OF THE THINGS WE HAVE TO DO.