• Bicyclist on campus
    The Health and Wellness Initiative was launched within the Division of Student Affairs in fall 2017.

The Health and Wellness Initiative is committed to improving the overall health and well-being of our students by increasing collaboration across the Division of Student Affairs and adapting services to better meet student needs. 

Health & Wellness ModelVisualization of the six dimensions of wellness as pieces of a wheel.

Utilizing Dr. Bill Hettler's Six Dimensions of Social Wellness, the Division of Student Affairs has created the following structure to align our goals and desired outcomes. 

For the first phase of the Health and Wellness Initiative in the 2017-2018 academic year, we will be focusing on the emotional, physical and social components. 

Emotional wellness includes the degree to which one feels positive and enthusiastic about one’s self and life. It includes the capacity to manage one’s feelings and related behaviors including the realistic assessment of one’s limitations, development of autonomy, and ability to cope effectively with stress. The well person maintains satisfying relationships with others. Awareness of, and accepting a wide range of feelings in yourself and others is essential to wellness. On the wellness path, you’ll be able to express feelings freely and manage feelings effectively. You’ll be able to arrive at personal choices and decisions based upon the synthesis of feelings, thoughts, philosophies, and behavior. You’ll live and work independently while realizing the importance of seeking and appreciating the support and assistance of others. You’ll be able to form interdependent relationships with others based upon a foundation of mutual commitment, trust, and respect. You’ll take on challenges, take risks, and recognize conflict as being potentially healthy. Managing your life in personally rewarding ways, and taking responsibility for your actions, will help you see life as an exciting, hopeful adventure. Emotional wellness follows these tenets:

  • It is better to be aware of and accept our feelings than to deny them.
  • It is better to be optimistic in our approach to life than pessimistic.

Emotional wellness is about feeling good about one’s self, being able to recognize, accept, understand and constructively share feelings (including love, hope, sadness, fear, and anger) and having the skills to cope with the challenges that life brings.

Physical development encourages learning about diet and nutrition while discouraging the use of tobacco, drugs and excessive alcohol consumption. Optimal wellness is met through the combination of good exercise and eating habits. As you travel the wellness path, you’ll strive to spend time building physical strength, flexibility and endurance while also taking safety precautions so you may travel your path successfully, including medical self-care and appropriate use of a medical system. The physical dimension of wellness entails personal responsibility and care for minor illnesses and also knowing when professional medical attention is needed. By traveling the wellness path, you’ll be able to monitor your own vital signs and understand your body’s warning signs. You’ll understand and appreciate the relationship between sound nutrition and how your body performs. The physical benefits of looking good and feeling terrific most often lead to the psychological benefits of enhanced self-esteem, self control, determination and a sense of direction. Physical wellness follows these tenets:

  • It is better to consume foods and beverages that enhance good health rather than those which impair it.
  • It is better to be physically fit than out of shape.

Physical wellness means having the strength, flexibility and energy needed for daily activities at home, work and play without getting too tired or worn out.  It also means engaging in healthy behaviors (such as being active every day, getting enough sleep, and eating a balanced diet) and avoiding or limiting unhealthy behaviors (like smoking and drinking).

The social dimension emphasizes the interdependence between others and nature. As you travel a wellness path, you’ll become more aware of your importance in society as well as the impact you have on multiple environments. You’ll take an active part in improving our world by encouraging healthier living and initiating better communication with those around you. You’ll actively seek ways to preserve the beauty and balance of nature along the pathway as you discover the power to make willful choices to enhance personal relationships and important friendships, and build a better living space and community. Social wellness follows these tenets:

  • It is better to contribute to the common welfare of our community than to think only of ourselves.
  • It is better to live in harmony with others and our environment than to live in conflict with them.

Social wellness is the ability to develop and maintain positive, respectful, and meaningful relationships with others. It is also about giving and receiving support. It includes taking action to make neighborhoods and communities good places to live.

Applying the Six Dimensions of Wellness Model

By applying the model, a person becomes aware of the interconnectedness of each dimension and how they contribute to healthy living. This holistic model explains:

  • How a person contributes to his or her environment and community, and how to build better living spaces and social networks;
  • The enrichment of life through work, and its interconnectedness to living and playing;
  • The development of belief systems, values, and creating a world-view;
  • The benefits of regular physical activity, healthy eating habits, strength and vitality, as well as personal responsibility, self-care and when to seek medical attention;
  • Self-esteem, self-control, and determination as a sense of direction;
  • Creative and stimulating mental activities, and sharing your gifts with others.

References:
Community Tool Box
Healthy Happy Life
National Wellness Institute
Yukon Wellness