WE-CARE Initiative Framework
The WE-CARE (Wellness, Education, Connection, Awareness, Resources, and Engagement) Initiative builds upon these core elements to create a culture of wellness within graduate education.
We value your wellness during your time in the program and beyond. We aim to provide you with the knowledge, skills, values, and resources necessary to achieve a desired state of well-being. We share this definition of wellness as the ACTIVE pursuit of activities, choices, and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health. Wellness spans every aspect of our lives, but we focus on seven domains of wellness including physical, emotional, spiritual, social, financial, academic, and professional.
Every student who steps onto campus or logs onto the virtual platform expects to gain knowledge, skills, and values in their chosen profession. The WE-CARE Wellness Initiative ensures that students also recognize the importance of personal and professional well-being in their journey as helping professionals.
WE-CARE is about developing a sense of community and connection. It is about looking out for one another, leaning into kindness, hearing each other’s experiences, and valuing the dignity and worth of every individual. Connection also refers to the connection between mind, body, and spirit. It honors the importance of holistic health and how as humans we are both intra-personally and inter-personally connected.
Building our capacity to engage in self-awareness, self-reflection, and reflexivity is critical to our work as helping professionals and is a benefit to creating a culture of wellness. Being mindful of our own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors improves our ability to be present in the room with clients and patients. Being aware of others’ varying viewpoints, cultures, and experiences also cultivates awareness and helps us view the world through different perspectives.
In order to thrive, we must first learn how, when, and where to reach out for help. The WE-CARE Initiative aims to connect students with resources, which can help them thrive physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially, financially, academically, and professionally while in our program and beyond.
Engagement in the program, engagement with patients and clients, engagement with peers, staff, instructors, and faculty are all part of professional growth and development and essential to creating a culture of wellness. We plan to engage with our students by providing an inclusive and challenging learning environment and by connecting them with services and resources to help them succeed.