In recent years, the Hesburgh Libraries at the University of Notre Dame have developed and sustained a partnership with our campus student wellness center (The McDonald Center for Student Well-Being - aka “McWell”) that includes several programs designed to promote overall physical, mental and emotional health for our users and our library staff. Our partnership began in 2016 with the introduction of McWell’s “Let’s Talk” service (https://ucc.nd.edu/lets-talk/), which is a program designed to lower the barrier for students who would like some counseling. Many students don’t want to set up a formal appointment (involving intake forms, etc.) with the University Counseling Center, but are willing to seek help on a casual, drop-in basis. No appointments are necessary, and the sessions are free of charge.
This session will provide an overview of the partnership that the Hesburgh Libraries has developed with the University’s Center for Student Well-Being. Programs designed for student well-being include hosting Counseling Center “Let’s Talk” sessions in the Libraries, establishing a regular schedule for “Health Hut” visits, and providing space for relaxation and naps during stressful times of year. Additionally, the Center for Student Well-Being invited the Libraries to participate in a “Healthy Campus Coalition grant funded by the American College Health Association. This grant provided funds to host regular meetings designed to raise awareness of wellness activities happening throughout campus. One of the presenters at a Healthy Campus Coalition meeting presented her research on the importance of compassion, and as a result, she was invited to speak to a library department about the profoundly positive impact compassion can have on providers, recipients, and witnesses of acts of compassion. The presentation was designed to raise awareness of the importance of compassion, and it was timed to happen right before finals, and a few months before a staff retirement incentive program was scheduled to begin. No direct study of the results of the presentation have been done, however, anecdotal evidence indicates that attendees were appreciative and learned from the presentation.