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Cal State Long Beach gets fit physically, mentally

Active Minds organization celebrates campus student wellness programs.

Navy Keophan, Staff Writer

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When it comes to prioritizing student health and wellness, Cal State Long Beach is exceeding expectations in getting students fit mentally and physically.

As one of six universities and colleges in the U.S. to win Active Minds’ Healthy Campus award, CSULB’s commitment to making mental health services available to all students was celebrated by the nonprofit as demonstrating excellence in promoting healthy physical and mental habits.

The award, first given out in 2015, is given to institutions of higher education that go above and beyond in providing resources to promote campus-wide public health services to its students.

The panel noted several programs at CSULB that were innovative in emphasizing student well-being.

These programs include the Student Emergency Intervention and Wellness program, which helps identify and immediately serve students in times of crisis with access to services such as emergency housing and funds.

There is also a comprehensive program for students seeking addiction recovery and an eight-week program for students looking to rebuild their lives after suffering trauma as a result of sexual assault or domestic violence.

Additionally, there is an outreach program that assists students with autism and a financial health course for students who have had little access to such information growing up.

“The health and wellness of our entire campus community is a priority of mine,” Conoley said in a press release Tuesday. “Good physical and mental health is essential is to student success. Winning the Active Minds Healthy Campus award validates our commitment to this important mission.”

CSULB joined Jefferson College, Lawrence University, Sacramento State University, School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Wisconsin-Madison in receiving the Healthy Campus Award.

The review panel, consisting of prominent researchers and health and higher education experts, made their decision based on “long-term solution and data-driven measures established American College Health Association, the Strategic Primer on College Student Mental Health,” among other groups.

CSULB Director of News and Digital Media Michael Uhlenkamp said in an email that recognition “as an Active Mind Healthy Campus award winner reinforces the important work” that the university is doing in the field of mental and physical health and wellness.

“The health of our students and employees is a priority at the university,” Uhlenkamp said. “We are proud of this honor and are excited to have earned this achievement.”

According to the Active Minds website, Active Minds was founded by Alison Malmon after her brother Brian, who had been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, committed suicide while they were both in college.

The purpose of the group is to encourage students to seek help for mental illnesses while combating the stigmas attached to it.

Uhlenkamp also pointed out the benefits of providing students with resources that help develop healthy mindsets that lead to better levels of achievement.

“An important aspect of the college experience is also to develop life skills and having a healthy mindset is a skill that will benefit students long after they’ve become alumni,” he said. “With all the rigors associated with going to college, students who are mindful of health are less likely to be tired or sick.”

As CSULB’s wellness programs continue to gain recognition, Uhlenkamp says that the university is always looking to improve the services it provides.

“The Division of Student Affairs is committed to student success and is always looking for new or better ways to enhance students’ experiences at CSULB,” Uhlenkamp said. “As they become aware of health trends or innovations, students can look forward to seeing those brought to campus in the future.”  

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