The National College Health Assessment (NCHA) survey identified stress, getting sick, sleep, anxiety, depression, internet use, relationships, ADHD and alcohol and other drug use as the top health issues impacting CU students.  At Health Promotion, we use NCHA data to support our outreach and prevention efforts. 

As students transition to college, they will learn how to navigate a new environment that may include alcohol or other drugs. We want to provide students with the information they need to understand the impacts these substances have on their body and learn skills they can use to look out for themselves and one another. Small strategies such as eating before drinking, drinking water, making plans with friends before going out and knowing serving sizes can help students avoid the not-so-good things about substance use.

Every topic that we touch on can be assessed in terms of the social determinants of health. While individual behaviors do matter and impact a person's health, their ability to make healthy choices goes beyond personal choices and self-discipline. At CU, a wide range of social factors impact students’ experiences and shape their health outcomes around sleep, stress, colds and flu, alcohol and other drug use, relationships and social health.

At Health Promotion, we offer presentations and resources that explore how health is shaped by socioeconomic conditions. 

Food can be a complicated thing. We eat for lots of reasons: for energy, for nutrients, to celebrate, because it tastes good, convenience…the list goes on. Healthy eating means considering all of these factors. We don’t believe any food is bad or should be off limits, but we also know that not all foods are created equal. We try to help students focus on getting enough of the good stuff and figuring out what healthy eating means for them.

More than a quarter (26.9%) of CU students say that colds and flu have negatively affected their academic performance, including missed class or a lower grade on an exam. Small things like covering our cough, washing our hands and getting the flu vaccine can help protect us and those we care about from getting sick.

Self-image goes beyond size and shape. It’s about how we feel about our abilities, appearance and personality. At Health Promotion we work to provide students with tools to examine their own self-image and develop or maintain a positive view of themselves. Outside influences like the media, our friends, peers, and family can have a significant influence on our self-image. We want to be critical of these influences, surround ourselves with people that make us feel good and put our energy into activities we enjoy and find fulfilling.

We take a sex-positive approach to sexual health. Sexuality can look different for everyone, but it’s important that we all know how to communicate about sex and prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. Our office provides students with safer sex supplies and information about consent, contraception and other resources to meet the sexual health needs of all CU students. We also offer a peer-led sexual health workshop exploring communication, sexually transmitted infections, safer sex practices, and sex positivity. 

Sleep plays a vital role in ensuring our bodies and minds are working the way they’re supposed to, yet many of us don’t get enough on a regular basis. According to the National College Health Assessment, insufficient and poor quality sleep is one of the most common causes of negative academic outcomes for CU students. Getting 7-9 hours of sleep not only helps us remember and recall information, it also helps our immune system, reverses the effects of stress and helps maintain a healthy metabolism. Some of the ways we can get better sleep are: keeping a regular sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine (6 hours) and alcohol (2 hours) before bedtime and turning off electronics an hour before bed.

Our Sleep to Learn presentation explores the impact of sleep on academics, stress and illness, with strategies to help students get more restorative sleep.

Stress is common on campus. In fact, 38.3 percent of CU students report experiencing stress. But not all types of stress are bad. Some stress can motivate us to get things done, but chronic stress can have long-term impacts on our health. Paying attention to how stress shows up in our bodies and learning strategies to manage it can help keep stress from slowing us down. Try taking a short walk, talking with a friend or listening to a guided meditation.

Helping CU students quit tobacco products is a vital part of our mission to support health, wellness and academic success. While just 21% of CU students use cigarettes, over 73% of these students want to quit. Quitting can be tough, but there are resources on and off campus to support those who want to quit. Combining approved cessation medication with cessation counseling or support is the most effective way to quit, but quitting is a unique process for everyone. At Health Promotion, we offer information on tobacco cessation and resources for quitting.