The importance of App State’s wellness assessment


The ouside of Miles Annas Student Support which is alternatively known as the Wellness Center. The building has both the counseling center and health services.

Christina Beals, Reporter

BOONE—According to App State’s Wellness and Prevention Services’ website, the overall mission of the organization is to to serve the student body through the promotion of healthy behaviors, modification services for risk behavior and advocacy for campus-wide health policies that facilitate student success and holistic well-being.

One of the ways in which Wellness and Prevention Services reaches out to the student body is through its wellness assessment.

The wellness assessment is a survey created by the campus organization and sent out to students via email to fill out.

Alex Howard, director of Wellness and Prevention Services, has been at his position since the organization’s beginning in 2015.

“The premise for conducting the assessment is to better understand the overall condition of the community that you serve,” Howard said.

During the same year in which Wellness and Prevention Services started, the first student-wide wellness assessment did as well.

Howard said the assessment is administered to cater to each individual student who is a part of a bigger, eclectic student body.

The assessment that launched in 2015 was a shorter assessment by about 15 items and it wasn’t as inclusive as the current one,” Howard said. “We had vetted it with students as well as different campus partners, such as the dean of students, the Office of Student Conduct, as well as the Multicultural Student Development Office. We did the same thing this year, and we’re able to refine it and make it more inclusive as well as add additional items that would be beneficial to our understanding of experiences of our students on campus.”

Along with the campus partners that have taken part in striving to make the wellness assessment inclusive, a group working under the Wellness and Prevention Services has as well.

WE CAN, or Wellness Educators for Change, Advocacy, and Student Needs, is a peer educator group.

WE CAN primarily educates the student body on various topics relating to personal wellness, such as student health and well-being.

Sydney Hobart, president of WE CAN, along with the rest of their executive board is in charge of any presentations, events and contact tables that are presented on campus for the wellness education of fellow students.

In reference to the Campus Wellness Assessment, WE CAN had two roles: share the assessment link with any and all students through social media, classroom announcements, club meetings and any other avenues possible and staff the contact table that was located either inside or outside the union on a given day with prizes for students that completed the assessment,” Hobart said.

Hobart and her team can be seen throughout main areas of campus, promoting the assessment with a table of Wellness and Prevention merchandise.

“My fellow WE CAN members and even the WPS staff that are alongside me at the table will tell you that I have no shame in calling out to people as they walk by and may even be a little aggressive at times to first attract their attention with the prizes at the table and then convince them to complete the assessment,” Hobart said. “In reference to any positive effects the assessment has had on the student body, I think the most obvious effect has been its ability to start a dialogue regarding what wellness is and the work of Wellness and Prevention Services as a department.”

Olivia Patterson is a cabinet member of App State’s Student Government Association, serving as the director of health and safety.

In her position, Patterson’s responsibility is to advocate for the overall health and wellness of the student body as well as for any ways in which it can be checked on.

The Campus Wellness Assessment is a critical resource for Wellness and Prevention to use in ensuring that students’ health and wellness needs are being met. The survey is easy and relatively short, but vitally important to the safety and wellbeing of our student body,” Patterson said.

Wellness and Prevention Services, located past the post office on campus, offers several different services from therapy to helping students get in touch with other health resources.

To take the wellness assessment, students can search for it in their Appalachian State email inbox.

Story by: Christina Beals, News Reporter

Photo by: Halle Keighton, Photo Editor