College community embarks on seven weeks of well-being

The College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) is launching a community well-being initiative May 1 —  the Seven Weeks of Well-being Series — which will highlight a different dimension of well-being each week and provide ways for CVM faculty, staff and students to participate both in-person and remotely.

“This will be an opportunity for the community to explore new ways of bolstering their well-being and perhaps add healthy, sustainable practices to their day they might not have otherwise considered,” said Kate Buckley ’01, well-being program director.

Goals of the series include raising awareness about existing resources, strengthening connections across the college and offering fun, simple ways for people to interact with a variety of well-being processes. The approach is modeled after Cornell’s Seven Dimensions of Well-being, a framework that includes mental health, relationship well-being, physical well-being, cultural well-being, environmental health, occupational success and financial health. Each week, CVM will focus on one of these dimensions, starting with mental health, as May is also Mental Health Awareness Month.

“We hope that over these seven weeks people try some new things or return to beneficial activities that perhaps have been forgotten over the last few years,” said Suzin Webb, laboratory manager in the Department of Clinical Sciences and a member of the CVM Staff Council Well-being Subcommittee. “There is power in numbers, and with members of a community working both independently and together toward a common goal, we anticipate a positive outcome.”

Emails to community members will describe one well-being dimension each week and prompt visits to the events section of the CVM well-being webpage for additional resources. Mental health week, for example, features mindful meditation options and NatureRx activities.

“The activities listed are merely entry points for exploration. They’re intended to be widely accessible and easy to try. It’s our hope that people will engage with them on their own or, ideally, with other community members,” Buckley said. People will be encouraged to share the ways they’ve participated each week, and can enter raffles or become eligible for other rewards throughout the series.

“Not only will this initiative serve as gentle reminder to consider wellness from all angles, but it will also help to restore a sense of community in a time when we may still be feeling a little more separated,” said Carolynn Steele-Law, grant and educational program coordinator in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and member of the CVM Staff Council Well-being Subcommittee.

Well-being has long been a strategic priority for the college, resulting in the establishment of Buckley’s position as well as numerous groups that advance curricula, programming and student well-being initiatives. The Seven Weeks of Well-being Series is offered by the CVM Staff Council, the CVM Staff Council Well-being Subcommittee and the CVM Well-being Committee.

Written by Melanie Greaver Cordova