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CSU Student Well-Being Initiative Is a ‘Win-Win’

WIN awarded a $5,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Education

A student initiative on campus called Student Well-being Initiatives Network, or WIN for short, was recently awarded a grant for $5,000 from the Ohio Department of Education to assist in enabling students to help students.

The CSU Student Wellness and Prevention Program coordinated an inaugural conference on September 30 at the Student Center. It allowed participants in attendance to engage in dialogue, learn new skills and essentially take the lead when it comes to being an innovator for campus well-being and moving towards a “Live Well” culture.

Those in attendance at the conference got together and explored such topics as how mental health, substance use, and sexual violence intersect to impact well-being, along with engaging in a unique training course called Validate, Appreciate, Refer (V.A.R.), which consisted of a conversation around a three-step guide to help someone who might be struggling.

Other vital conversations included:

  • An intergroup Dialogue Training where students learned the basics of facilitating difficult decisions 
  • Self-care and resource sessions

  • Trauma-informed training facilitated by the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center

But wait, there’s more!

Students also had the opportunity to sign up for campus outreach efforts including, but not limited to, V.A.R. training Ambassador, Resource Ambassador, and Intergroup Dialogue Ambassador.

“I am excited about working with these students,” said Wellness and Prevention Program Coordinator Denise Keary. “They are very invested in the well-being of our campus and energized and ready to take steps in moving the culture of well-being forward.”

According to Keary, the 1-day workshop provided the necessary groundwork and training needed to identify healthy/unhealthy relationships, understand sexual and intimate partner violence, intervene and help students and others in challenging situations, recognize the intersection of sexual violence, mental health and alcohol, along with developing a personal self-care plan and conduct campus outreach.

“These students have committed to weekly outreach across campus for at least the remainder of the semester as well as participation in the student Wellness Peer Education program,” said Keary. “Additional outreach efforts will be contingent on funding.”

WIN students had their first outreach in the SC innerlink during the Paint it Purple Event as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month on October 12. To say it was a smashing success would be an understatement.

“We reached 128 students, many of whom signed up for trainings, downloaded the Reachout app, took information about healthy relationships and had meaningful engagement with Ambassadors,” said Keary. “These engagements including discussions on healthy relationships, understanding resources when seeking help and providing tips on how to help a friend.”