The Boston College Office of Health Promotion (OHP) kicked off its third annual “Let’s Talk Health” program with the launch of its new “Mind, Body, Soul” campaign. Since the office’s creation nine years ago, OHP has put forth a new, unique campaign every year.
Makayla Davis, the assistant director of OHP, explained that their objective is to devise “holistic approaches” to change the conversation about health in order to keep it relevant and sustainable for college students.
“Every year we’re trying to revamp and keep it new for students,” she said.
This year’s campaign focuses on three core values of health: body, mind, and soul. Aimed at keeping with the University’s Catholic Jesuit identity, Davis explained that one objective of the campaign is to encourage students to recognize their connectedness to the community.
The “body” aspect of the campaign, which OHP focused on during the month of September, encompasses nutrition, safe alcohol consumption, sleep, and exercise. In October, the “mind” aspect will address mental health, stress, time management, and resilience. In November, “soul” will be devoted to relationships, spirituality, social life, and community. The office plans to hold discussion groups to promote a sense of community for students.
Davis stressed that the goal of the campaign is to teach students that all three areas of health are interconnected and to equip them with strategies and skills to make informed health decisions.
“You’ve heard you can only have two but not all three, but we’re really saying you can take care of your mind, body, and soul,” Davis said.
The campaign’s logo features the categories in a Venn diagram to convey that the intersection of these elements plays an integral role in living a balanced life, according to Davis. She hopes that the campaign will push students to gain awareness and knowledge, which they will use to implement behavioral changes, no matter how busy students get.
OHP began the campaign on Sept. 18 with Healthapalooza. The event featured interactive activities, giveaways, and OHP’s campus partners, such as the BC Police Department, BC Emergency Medical Services, and BC Recreation, who all gathered on O’Neill Plaza to promote the “Let’s Talk Body, Mind, Soul campaign.”
This year, OHP is implementing “Be Well” screenings, which expand on the alcohol and sleep screenings they have conducted in the past. Davis said that these screenings will address all three aspects of the campaign in order to create a “holistic” picture of health.
On Oct. 9, OHP is planning a major “Be Well” screening which will be comprised of a 30-item questionnaire—10 questions each for body, mind, and soul. After completing the survey, students will have the opportunity to meet with a conversation partner and discuss their score as well as set goals for themselves.
“It is important to take time to stop and reflect on our health and just see how choices in one area might be affecting choices in another area,” Davis said. “Our well-being and health really are the foundation for success here.”
OHP also is hoping to draw more students in with its online outreach efforts. At the beginning of each month, OHP has started emailing students ways to participate and encouraging them to visit its website for additional resources, which include informational podcasts, videos, and articles.
One of the central messages of the campaign presents health as a journey, Davis said. OHP strives to meet students at whatever point on the “journey of health” they are on and provide them with opportunities to improve.
Davis said that during such a formative time, students ought to utilize the services OHP has to offer in order to learn to live a balanced lifestyle throughout the rest of their lives.
She explained that students first need to take care of themselves in order to achieve personal and academic success. Through the campaign, she said she hopes the conversations about health will stretch beyond students and spread to faculty and staff.
As it has done in past years, OHP will host de-stressing events prior to final exams. It also plans to reinstate the campaign in the Spring semester to continue to promote health and well-being of mind, body, and soul across campus.
Featured Image by Jack Miller / Heights Editor