Many students look forward to going off to college. Yet the experience can feel like walking a tightrope across Niagara Falls without a safety net. The anxiety can totter even the hardiest souls.

University students face numerous pressures. Some struggle with poverty and homelessness. Others find adjusting to adult freedoms challenging. Across the nation, colleges are teaming up with charitable partners to support student wellness.

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Receives Help from Food Lion

When you’re hungry, it’s hard to learn effectively. Tight budgets make it difficult for students to afford basic toiletries. Recently, the Food Lion Feeds Charitable Foundation gifted Rowan-Cabarrus Community College $2,000 to help those in need.

A recent government report indicates that a third of college students struggle to get enough to eat. The Rowan-Cabarrus food and resource pantry aims to help. The gift will help them restock their supplies.

College students spend up to $2,000 yearly on personal items like laundry soap and tampons. They must often decide between necessary grooming supplies and nourishing food. Their worries over money hinder their academic progress. To achieve their goals, they need support with the basics. Hopefully, further partnerships will continue to support these needs.

Community College of Philadelphia Creates Wellness Initiative

Can you imagine sleeping in your car while attending college? Or living on the streets of Philadelphia? President Donald Guy General of Community College of Philadelphia discovered many of his students cope with this reality.

Recently, tragedy struck the campus. A former student died in a violent rampage in the city this past Father’s Day weekend. Her sister currently attends the school. Community College of Philadelphia reacted by kicking off a new wellness initiative to coordinate more help for students.

The initiative began with a breakfast meeting that brought together representatives from various social service organizations. They hope to grow the campus support network and plug gaps in services. Enrollment has fallen due to economic and political changes. Officials hope to strengthen the safety net and give students the tools they need to reach graduation.

Johns Hopkins Implements Wellness Task Force

Johns Hopkins University enjoys a reputation as a health leader. This summer, the institution made leadership changes intended to improve student wellness. They’re working on initiatives to get rid of many barriers to mental health care for students.

Last fall, the Task Force on Student Mental Health and Well-Being recommended methods to improve access to mental health services on campus. The University’s resources currently lie scattered across nine separate areas. They plan to consolidate these tools to expand aid to more enrollees.

The university also recognizes the struggles of disabled students. Students with dual enrollment need to request accommodations twice. Doing so intimidates students with anxiety disorders who hesitate to approach instructional staff. At least 40 million American adults struggle with anxiety. Streamlining the process of requesting accommodations will alleviate this stress.

Officials decided to move the Office of Student Disability Services to Shaffer Hall. They previously planned to move it to the Mattin Center, but they opted for greater accessibility.

Counselors plan to implement resilience training to help students cope with the increased rigors of academia. Students at Johns Hopkins struggle to master the course material for the first time. Those who previously earned straight A’s easily struggle to accept the more stringent requirements. Poor grades negatively impact their self-esteem. These new programs hope to teach students to embrace adversity.

Community College of Vermont Reaps Benefits of the Vermont Community Foundation

The Vermont Community Foundation creates opportunities throughout area high schools and recreation centers. They recently partnered with the J. Warren & Lois McClure Foundation to make Community College of Vermont the largest grantee of their funds. This is critical work. Currently, only 2% of higher education giving supports students enrolled in 2-year college programs. However, roughly 50% of students pursue these degrees.

The Foundation also supports health and wellness at the Edgar May Health and Recreation Center. They recently hosted a fair supporting youth and families. They instituted the All 4 One program to create a new teen center.

Keeping University Students Healthy in Body and Mind

Colleges need to do more to promote the health and wellness of their students. Partnering with community foundations to expand services and resources to those in need is a great start. Hopefully, we will see more initiatives like these popping up all over the U.S.

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About Author

Kate Harveston covers social justice and human rights issues. She graduated with a Bachelors in English and minored in Criminal Justice, so she enjoys writing about anything related to the intersections of law, politics and culture. For more of her writing, you can visit her blog, Only Slightly Biased.

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