Well-being includes our physical, mental and social health. Being part of a community has a positive effect on our mental health and emotional well-being. Feeling part of a community provides a sense of belonging and social connectedness. It can also offer us meaning and purpose. Communities can exist or be created from a shared location, hobbies, and lived experiences. Having people to talk with and making connections can help reduce our risk of physical and mental illness.
This past year and a half has not been the norm for social interactions and personal relationships. Lockdown measures, remote learning, and remote work arrangements have made it more difficult to meet and connect with each other. Feelings of isolation and loneliness are on the rise while many of us have experienced personal trauma and loss. Meeting our campus community’s emotional needs is linked to the overall well-being of our community of learners.
Working at the community level promotes healthy living, helps prevent chronic diseases, and brings the greatest health benefits to the greatest number of people in need. It also helps to reduce health gaps caused by differences in race, ethnicity, location, social status, income, and many other factors which can affect one’s health (CDC).
The role of the library
Libraries are not just brick and mortar buildings to house collections any more. Medical libraries can and do play an important role in improving the health and well-being of their community on their campuses. Countway Library is one of those shared locations, open to all three schools, providing new opportunities (i.e., through hobbies or social activities), where we can connect and feel part of a larger community. As part of the evolution of Countway Library, we have a renewed focus on community well-being as well as serving as a resource for research and learning. There are many activities the newly-renovated Countway Library has to offer our students, faculty and staff. Countway now has dedicated spaces, resources and community-building programming. Countway offers a variety of specific activities for wellness and spiritual well-being. This week’s message highlights some of those offerings where we can come together as a campus, feel our connectedness and experience a renewed purpose. Join us. Countway Cares… about you.
Samples of Countway activities promoting community well-being are:
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
Countway Cuddles pet therapy returns indoors with Daisy, Cooper and Bodhi.
The Kindness Rocks Project- create hand-painted rocks and add them to the Kindness Rocks Garden to promote kindness and inspiration on campus.
Creative Painting with Caroline - take a break, de-stress, and release your emotions through meditative painting.
Planned events celebrating staff and the return of students on campus in the Countway Community Garden.
To schedule or participate in these wellness events, please contact the Outreach Office.
***all images were taken with permission of participants and are for library use only
List of Resources
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Chronic Disease: A Significant Public Health Threat, [information accessed January 29, 2019] https://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dch/about/index.htm 2 Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health-Related Quality of Life and Well-Being, [information accessed January 29, 2019] https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/about/foundation-health-measures/Health-Related-Quality-of-Life-and-Well-Being 3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Health and Economic Costs of Chronic Diseases, [information accessed January 29, 2019] https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/about/costs/index.htm 4 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Partnerships to Improve Community Health, [information accessed January 29, 2019] https://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dch/programs/partnershipstoimprovecommunityhealth/index.html
Suicide Prevention Awareness Month Jamboard (all month)
Kindness Rocks Project: Paint a rock for the Kindness Rocks Garden (Weekly on Wednesdays beginning 9/29, 12-3 in the Makerspace, No registration required)
Upcoming garden events: Master of Biomedical Informatics Welcome Event, Research Operations Department Picnic, Countway Staff Appreciation Events, GradFest Houseplant Giveaway
***For more information on booking an event in the garden, please visit countway.info/garden.