An essential part of the multifacted Mount Holyoke student experience includes a commitment to wellness of mind, body, spirit and community. The new Be Well program at Mount Holyoke was developed in 2016 to encourage mental and physical health among students and help provide ways to reduce stress.
As an integrated wellness program, Be Well reaches students through spaces, program initiatives and services with a mission rooted in the belief that wellness looks different for everyone — and that working toward it is a lifelong process. It integrates four components essential to sustain and empower students throughout their lives: a healthy body, a healthy mind, a healthy life and a healthy community.
Be Well’s programming includes weekly “Drop-in Talkin” sessions, which are informal walk-in consultations with advisors from the Counseling Center. Weekly “Mindful Meditation” and Yoga sessions are also available, both of which are open to anyone and aim to reduce stress, improve focus and foster gentle relaxation. In addition to the many spaces on campus that are designated for tranquil contemplation — such as the Japanese meditation garden and teahouse, the Abbey Interfaith Sanctuary, the Eliot House lounge, the Hindu and Muslim prayer room and the Talcott Greenhouse — Be Well also offers the MoAsis, an area in the Health Center designed specifically for wellness and relaxation. Equipped with a tablet loaded with relaxation and meditation apps, a massage chair, meditation cushions, yoga mats, calming music and soft lighting, MoAsis helps visitors to decrease their overall levels of stress and anxiety.
Be Well is introduced to incoming first years through wellness workshops offered during Orientation. Past workshops have included DIY Calendars to learn time management skills and tips, Drumming Circle, Fundamentals of Yoga for self-care and Intro to Mindfulness to learn how to foster good mental health. Throughout the year, Be Well also offers workshops and classes to promote healthy eating habits, develop financial wellness and prepare students for life after college.
Last semester, the Be Well initiative received the Program of the Year - State Award from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), the leading organization for student affairs administrators in higher education. The award is given to an outstanding program that demonstrates innovation, creativity and timeliness, and that contributes to student development and/or professional development, as well as to the home institution.
The Be Well initiative emphasizes the importance of healthy living and demonstrates the College’s commitment to providing a holistic approach to each student’s education. When you support Student Life through The Mount Holyoke Fund, you invest in programs like Be Well that work to sustain Mount Holyoke’s healthy, vibrant community — both in and out of the classroom.
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