The Wellbeing Department at Rec Well has been working for the past few years to create this program based on the identified need for additional mental health-supporting environments on campus. Rec Well has partnered with the Samaritan Family Wellness Foundation and the Center for Healthy Minds to develop a curriculum for the program and administer training for the peer wellness coaches. Rec Well has heard from students that they are craving additional supportive resources on campus, and they are excited to be able to provide this program to students.
The program is centered around the seven aspects of wellbeing that UW-Madison has adopted in the past three years (health, meaning, safety, connection, achievement, growth, and resiliency). The program curriculum allows students to create and strive-for wellness goals in a safe, non-judgmental, mental health-supporting environment. In addition to goal-setting, participants will also practice mindfulness, have discussions, and create community and social connections with others in their group. This program is free to all UW-Madison students. Each group wellness coaching session will be capped at 6 participants who will meet one time per week for four weeks; each four-week session will be led by two UW-Madison student peer wellness coaches. The peer wellness coaches have been extensively trained in the principles of wellness coaching, motivational interviewing, and mindfulness, and have also been trained in campus referral processes so that they can refer students to clinical services at UHS when indicated. Peer wellness coaches are also all Certified Peer Educators through NASPA. We know the power of peer influence, and Rec Well is leaning into this evidence-based approach to health promotion they build this program. The peer wellness coaching is not a replacement for clinical mental health services, but rather serves as a complementary service to UHS clinical services.
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