The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) is looking out for its community with the Chancellor’s GROVE Well-Being Initiative, charged with assessing the campus environment through a health and well-being lens. Recognizing that health challenges are growing, Ole Miss Chancellor Glenn Boyce said, “this new initiative will aid us in creating a broadened support system that will help all members of the campus community thrive.”

Several key themes guide the faculty, staff and students working “to elevate the practice of meaningful wellness services, resources, and programming across all components of wellness,” the GROVE website explained. “This is a comprehensive approach to build a deeper, more accessible sense of belonging, welcoming, and connection.”

The GROVE themes include:

  • “Growth – health and well-being involves growth and personal development
  • Resilience – adapting to, coping with and recovering from difficult situations is crucial for health and well-being maintenance
  • Outreach – reaching out to others for support can reduce feelings of isolation and positively impact health and well-being
  • Validation – validating emotions and experiences is essential in health and well-being
  • Empowerment – empowering people with knowledge, resources and tools allows them to make informed decisions and actively participate in their health and well-being journey”

Helping Those in Distress

A goal of the initiative is to create better campus allies for those in distress, Charlotte Pegues, vice chancellor for student affairs, told Ole Miss News. “Sometimes you know that someone is going through a crisis, but you don’t know how to respond,” she said. “We want to give them the tools to helps others and to help themselves.”

To that end, university leaders completed Mental Health First Aid training as part of the initiative. In addition, counselors and therapists were embedded in the William Magee Institute for Student Wellbeing, the Office of Veteran and Military Services, and the Graduate School. An in-house counselor is available through the athletics department.

“Students who are healthy and well are successful in several ways and persist toward graduation,” Juawice McCormick, director of University Counseling Center, said. “We are all here to help support students in their Ole Miss experiences and to help them continue with success in wellness as they move toward their futures beyond UM.”

Sources: Chancellor’s GROVE Well-Being Initiative, Counseling Center, University of Mississippi; Ole Miss University of Mississippi News, 10/2/23

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