Student Well-Being Collective

Are you a CUIMC student passionate about issues related to health, mental health, and well-being? Join the student-led Collective and work interprofessionally with CUIMC students, faculty, and staff to address multiple dimensions of student well-being at CUIMC! 

There are many opportunities for students to engage as community members with the on-going work of the Collective. We welcome participation from all CUIMC community members. Check back frequently for more information, and be sure to subscribe to our Well-Being and Health Promotion Newsletter to stay in the loop. For more ways to get involved, email to be added to our mailing list. 

Application Now Closed for Fall 2023

Applications reopen at the start of each academic year. Interested students can plan to apply next fall or email to be added to our mailing list and stay connected to the Collective's work. 

What is the Student Well-Being Collective?

The Student Well-Being Collective utilizes a Collective Impact approach to address health and well-being inequities and provides tools and training for CUIMC students to build the necessary skills and confidence to lead community change efforts. Students are offered opportunities to build their capacity to effect multi-level individual, community, and institutional change, fulfill interprofessional education (IPE) requirements for their schools and programs, and will be able to collaborate on the design, implementation, and evaluation of innovative health promotion initiatives at CUIMC.

Students who are part of the Collective:

  • Work interprofessionally to champion a shared understanding of well-being at CUIMC.
  • Gain tools and techniques to explore key factors that contribute to health and well-being at CUIMC.
  • Understand how individual, interpersonal, community, organizational, and environmental influences interact to impact health and well-being.
  • Build skills and confidence to strategically approach change efforts and collectively lead systems change.
  • Help CUIMC students shift from programmatic to systemic mindsets and practice.

The Collective works interprofessionally with CUIMC students, faculty, and staff to address well-being at CUIMC through evaluating and enhancing:

  • The built and natural environment
  • Connection and belonging 
  • Mental health literacy
  • University policies and protocols
  • Teaching and learning

Learn more about each of the working groups, including their mission and active projects:

Connection and Belonging Working Group

The Connection and Belonging Working Group seeks to build and enhance students’ sense of belonging by coordinating inclusive, interdepartmental events that activate community-building and emphasize connectedness to the campus community and New York City area. This Working Group aims to enhance social well-being, connect students within and across CUIMC schools, and encourage student participation in the campus community.

This group is welcoming new members who are eager to creatively engage the student body and bring people together; thoughtfully organize inclusive events and activities; and collaborate with campus and local entities to create meaningful social programming.

Current projects:

  • Collaborating with a local nature guide to coordinate an outdoor walking activity that orients people of all backgrounds to New York City by encouraging stewardship to the land and nature
  • Brainstorming and planning inclusive, interdepartmental community events for the current academic year
  • Establishing stakeholder relationships with campus and local entities to co-create student-centered program planning

Mental Health Literacy Working Group

The Mental Health Literacy Working Group seeks to enhance and promote mental health literacy for the broader CUIMC community. This Working Group aims to build capacity among faculty to support student mental health, increase the visibility and accessibility of mental health support resources for students, and normalize help-seeking behavior in the CUIMC community.

This group is seeking new participants who are passionate about reducing mental health stigma and lowering barriers to accessing mental health support for all CUIMC graduate students.

Current projects:

  • Coordinating training efforts for professors on supporting mental health in the classroom, particularly around how to recognize students who might be struggling, how to connect students who need support with on-campus resources, and how to thoughtfully navigate lecture material that could be potentially triggering for some students
  • Developing universal syllabus language across all schools and programs to increase the visibility of information for students looking for support related to a mental health concern
  • Encouraging student-centered, open, brave, and inclusive spaces for students to talk about mental health, with an emphasis on sharing skills and strategies for managing mental health while in a rigorous graduate training program
  • Developing creative and informative channels for disseminating accurate and culturally-aware mental health information, including easy-to-access infographics and social media assets

Policies and Protocols Working Group

The Policy and Protocols Working Group is focused on assessing the needs and experiences of CUMC students in relation to leaves of absence in order to create a transparent, safe, and inclusive environment for students who are considering taking, are taking, or have taken a leave of absence to seek care and support for a mental health concern. The working group aims to ultimately draft a recommendation to share with administrators about ways to improve mental health medical leave processes.

This working group is seeking students who are interested in reducing barriers for students trying to access a leave of absence, and who have personal experience or strong empathy for the challenges of self-advocacy and navigating decentralized resource systems.

Current projects:

  • Completing a review of information about taking a leave of absence that is currently available to students in each school and program. This may involve doing an online search for information on the CUIMC/CU websites, conversations with administrators in all schools and programs at CUIMC, and a review of best practices at peer institutions
  • Collecting semi-structured qualitative data from students who have taken leaves of absence about their experience, with care and attention to the sensitivity and existing stigma that may be associated with leaves of absences
  • Conducting a gap analysis to assess what is missing from information that is currently available to our community and the best way(s) to disseminate that information, including what would be helpful for both the leaving and returning to campus process and how to help students access the support they need during their leave
  • Creating a guide for students who are considering taking a leave of absence (e.g., a checklist of things to do, considerations, and who to contact)

Teaching and Learning Working Group (inactive for 2023-2024)

Teaching and Learning will not be active for the 2023-2024 academic year. Check back often for updates; we hope to run this working group again in Fall 2024!

The Teaching and Learning Working Group aims to improve teaching and learning practices on campus through initiatives rooted in social justice and informed by educational research. This Working Group seeks to improve the academic experience of CUIMC students by advocating for structural changes in instructional strategies that support the educational attainment and success of all students.

This group is seeking new members who are interested in facilitating conversations about student and faculty experiences of campus educational culture across CUIMC; advocating for the student community in communications with campus stakeholders; and helping to shape the experience of learning on our campus such that present and future students are able to thrive in their educational pursuits.

Current projects:

  • Building a survey tool to assess student and faculty experiences of the campus learning environment to inform accessibility initiatives
  • Conducting qualitative analysis of learning practices across higher education institutions through literature reviews and interviews with CUIMC affiliates
  • Communicating with campus leadership about strategies to improve educational practices and address gaps in academic support

Built and Natural Environments Working Group (inactive for 2023-2024)

Built and Natural Environment will not be active for the 2023-2024 academic year. Check back often for updates; we hope to run this working group again in Fall 2024!

The Built and Natural Environment Working Group serves to create opportunities to optimize learning spaces on campus through evidence-based practices, art and design, and environmental sustainability principles. This Working Group aims to enhance the physical environment on the CUIMC campus and increase our community’s awareness of the impact our environment has on our health and well-being.

This group is seeking new members who are eager to contribute to our initiatives by facilitating communication with faculty, staff, and students; actively engaging with the campus community; and creatively implementing change through collaborative projects centered on the physical environment in which we live, work, and play.

Current projects:

  • Building a free light therapy light box rental program as an accessible, cost-effective supplement to existing mental health support strategies for students navigating seasonal mood changes.
  • Using health communication strategies to develop a sustainability initiative to reduce energy consumption on campus in collaboration with the Office of Housing Services
  • Developing an open chalkboard wall to add elements of dynamic visual art and encourage artistic outlets for our students and community in a public space

Leadership Opportunities

In addition to joining as a member of the Student Well-Being Collective, interested students can also apply for a leadership position within the Collective. Each working group has at least two student leaders: a Working Group Leader and a Steering Committee Representative. 

Read more about each leadership position:

Working Group Leader

Working Group Leaders serve as project coordinators for one of the working groups, each of which is generally made up of 4-5 Collective members. They hold the primary responsibility for scheduling and facilitating independent meetings with their working group for the purposes of planning, development, and implementation of working group projects. Depending on the size of a working group, leadership may be shared between two co-leads.

Working Group Leaders serve as the primary communication liaison between the Well-Being and Health Promotion team and their working group members. Each Working Group Leader will also receive individual support and mentorship from a staff member at Student Health on Haven.

Working Group Leaders are expected to attend 1-2 Working Group Leader meetings each semester for additional training and leadership development.

Steering Committee Representative

Each working group has one Steering Committee Representative. The Steering Committee Representative serves two primary roles: (1) as a co-lead with their Working Group Leader(s) to provide support as needed, and (2) as a representative for their working group at a meeting with campus-wide stakeholders once each semester. At these meetings, Steering Committee Representatives will present updates from their working group and take notes to relay information back to the Collective.

The Steering Committee Representative may be called upon to represent the Working Group's interests, perspectives, learnings, and expertise at meetings and events with diverse stakeholders across the CUIMC campus.