BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - New and returning students to the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs will have even greater access to mental health and wellness resources than ever before when they arrive in Bloomington this fall, with the help of a new pilot program in collaboration with the IU Student Health Center.
The O’Neill School’s Resilience and Wellbeing Initiative will provide four distinct opportunities for students to condition and enhance their mental and emotional health and develop the necessary skills required to address the challenges of college life.
“We understand how challenging and rigorous college can be for students,” said Student Health Center Executive Director Pete Grogg. “This program is designed to provide students with the information and skills needed to address these challenges, whether academic, financial, issues of social pressure, or beyond. We are excited to pilot this program with the O’Neill School through its unique, layered approach to mental and emotional wellness.”
The program will offer students four opportunities to participate, including:
- A brand-new, one-credit course for undergraduates titled “Resilience and Wellbeing for Public Leaders,” launching in the second eight-week block of the fall semester;
- A four-session workshop series on resilience for graduate students at the school. Offered in both fall and spring, the session topics are expected to cover Building Resilience, Positivity, Mindfulness and meditation, and Assertiveness and healthy relationships;
- Individualized sessions with IU Health and Wellness coaches. O’Neill students will have access to up to three free coaching sessions with the Health and Wellness team from the IU Student Health Center; and
- Opportunities to meet with a dedicated counselor-in-residence at the O’Neill School.
Counselors from Counseling and Psychological Services have been embedded at the O’Neill School over the past few years, and, under the new initiative, will provide 20 hours of dedicated service per week to the school’s students.
“It’s incredibly important for us as a school to further expand access to these vital resources, especially after the past 18 months,” said O’Neill School Dean Siân Mooney. “The coronavirus pandemic, coupled with issues of rising social and racial injustices across the globe, have made it clear that students need strong support to help them succeed, and we are excited to see the positive impact this initiative will have on those who participate.”
Grogg said this is the first program he can think of that offers such a layered approach toward mental wellness at IU. “We very much hope that educating and helping students build necessary skills for success, offering individual support through health coaching, and providing mental health counseling for longer term support will help make the students’ experiences richer and more fulfilling,” he said.
Mooney and Grogg said the Student Health Center and O’Neill School will measure the impact of the program over the course of its first year, so that it can be made even stronger moving forward and possibly extend it to other schools or departments on the Bloomington campus.
About the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs
The O’Neill School is a world leader in public and environmental affairs and is the largest school of public administration and public policy in the United States. In the 2022 "Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs" by U.S. News & World Report, the O'Neill School is one of the top-ranked programs in the country. Five of its specialty programs are ranked in the top-five listings, including top-ranked concentrations in environmental policy and management; nonprofit management; and public finance.