This year, LMU CARES is focusing on the wellness of the "whole person" with their new "You've Got This" Wellness Initiative. The Wellness Initiative was kickstarted during LMU's summer session to help raise awareness of the many places on campus where students can get support in maintaining mental and physical health.
“We want students to know that we believe in you and your ability to get through the good times and the bad, and that when times are rough, LMU has your back,” said Briana Maturi, the director of LMU CARES and a lead coordinator for the Wellness Initiative.
Multiple groups and organizations on campus are a part of the campus-wide initiative, including ASLMU, the FitWell Center, Community of Care, Sodexo, Recovery at LMU and RHA.
As one way to provide information and support for students, the Wellness Initiative will be hosting “Wellness Wednesday” each week on Lawton Plaza, according to Maturi. The first of the event was held on Wednesday, Oct. 2.
Maturi stated that the purpose of the weekly event is to provide a place where students can de-stress and learn more about wellness from the on-campus organizations.
“This will be a space where all members of the LMU community can come together for relaxation, arts, food markets and other activities geared toward wellness,” said Maturi.
In addition to activities held by on-campus organizations, the program will be hosting vendors selling tamales, succulents, hummus, pastries and more.
To ensure that each wellness-focused resource on campus is accessible to students, the program created a website with information about each. On this website, students can find portals to Student Psychological Services, FitWell Personal Training, Sodexo Dietitian, the Food Pantry, Emergency Medical Services and more.
During the initial stages of creating the program, the coordinators held listening sessions with students to learn more about what the student body needed. According to Maturi, a recurring theme in the sessions was that students were unclear as to the other options on campus for wellness besides Student Psychological Services.
“They also felt over-involved and over-committed and wanted more intentional opportunities to slow down and take time for themselves,” said Maturi. “Overall, it felt as though students were looking for permission to make time for self-care and assistance to learn how to do it.”
Going forward, Maturi said that the future of the program is up to the students.
“All students are invited to be part of the planning and brainstorming of the Wellness Initiative. We want to make sure that we are continually meeting the needs of our students and reminding them that 'you’ve got this.'"