I think of Flinders University as a community. With 26000+ students and 2600+ staff, it is a pretty big community!
Communities tend to develop services to assist the members of the community.
The Health, Counselling and Disability (HCD) service where I work has the health and wellbeing of students as its primary goal. We know that happy and healthy students tend to be more productive students, so having a service built into the university that focuses on health and wellbeing is a good investment in the ongoing academic success of our students.
Some of the services that we offer at HCD are consistent across time and space. We have GP’s, Counsellors, Nurses and Disability Advisors on staff to provide critical medical and personal care. You can learn about these on our main website.
But a few years back we started a Student Health and Wellbeing Blog. The content of that blog is automatically formatted and sent out as a newsletter each week (if you are not already, you can subscribe here). We’ve posted over 550 blog articles and sent out 80000+ emails.
We had multiple goals in setting up the blog.
- We wanted a place to write articles and distribute resources that students could use for their own self-care. This led to the Self-Help Library where students can access documents on a range of self-care topics.
- We wanted a place to let students know about the different wellbeing programs that we run throughout the year. Because our program schedule changes through the year (e.g. adding programs, changing dates), we needed a way to give students the most up-to-date news.
- We wanted a place where we could inform students of the new programs we are developing. For example, students can keep track as I build a mental fitness program.
- Our team get lots of opportunities to interact with students via workshops and presentations. The blog gives us a place to share our reflections on those interactions. For example, I recently had the pleasure of spending some time with dietetics students who were mid-placement. In the process I re-learned about the power of peer support.
- The blog gives us a place to post news items related to current events.
- We can use the blog to notify students of changes or additions to our core services. For example, it was the blog where we first described the Out Of Hours Crisis Lin
- The blog gives us a place to share student-generated content. Take this post from Eloise on Ikigai. Or this guide we developed with student Clara on bouncing back after an episode of mental ill health.
- To promote the work being done in other parts of the university that have a health and wellbeing focus. For example, I spent some time extracting lessons from work being done by EPSW and SAHMRI on wellbeing.
So if you are a Flinders student, not already subscribed to our newsletter, and willing to have one more email per week added to your probably already busy inbox, please consider subscribing. It is one of the best ways we can keep you updated with health and wellbeing related news and events.
And if you are a student, with an interest in health and wellbeing and would like to contribute content to the blog, get in contact with me – firstname.lastname@example.org