Five Areas of Focus

The work of the PCCW is driven by five areas of focus that are specific to NDSU. These areas of focus were identified by considering NDSU campus survey results, focus group input, input from campus organizations and data from Student Health Service. Secondary research that includes national survey data from the American College Health Association – National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA) supports the importance of these five: Safety, Physical Health, Mental Health, Substance Use and Social Connection.

Safety

The perception and reality of personal safety are basic components of well-being. Sexual violence, dating violence, stalking, the physical safety of pedestrians and bike-riders, and behaviors of disrespect and discrimination are all areas of safety that we want to address at NDSU.  

Safety outcome: NDSU is a campus community where members feel safe physically, emotionally and environmentally.
Culture change outcome: NDSU culture reflects values of respect, inclusiveness and positive safety norms.

Preconditions to achieving desired Safety outcomes:

  • Students, faculty and staff are informed, educated and trained on safety practices, skills, interventions, self-respect, habits and how to access resources.
  • Campus policies establish expectations for personal, emotional and environmental safety.
  • Physical infrastructure is continuously evaluated to increase safety and access for all.
  • Safety includes awareness and a caring approach by all. Safe behaviors extend beyond the physical campus into the NDSU community at large.

Physical Health

Physical Health is impacted by lifestyle choices that include activity, food, sleep, the physical environment and more. Physical Health impacts mental and emotional function, and management of physical health has implications for lifelong well-being. 

Physical Health outcome: NDSU is a campus community supported by infrastructure that promotes physical and environmental health.
Culture change outcome: NDSU culture reflects values of self and environmental stewardship.

Preconditions to achieving desired Physical Health outcomes:

  • Effective programs offering healthy personal choice options are resourced and optimized to meet priority campus community needs.
  • Information, education and training are available and accessible on topics such as nutrition, sleep hygiene, mindfulness, physical activity, substance use and sexuality.
  • Basic physical needs are met (food, clothing, heat, medical care, etc.)
  • Campus activities, events, messages and policies are consistent with health promotion and environmental stewardship

Mental Health

Mental Health is inseparable from other components of well-being. Reducing the stigma around mental health, supporting skills and habits to manage stressors, strengthening resilience, and supporting timely access to mental health services are all factors that support mental health and overall well-being.

Mental Health outcome: NDSU is a campus community where members are mentally and emotionally healthy, resilient, self-aware and supported.
Culture change outcome: NDSU culture reflects value of the mental health of its students, faculty and staff.

Preconditions to achieving desired Mental Health outcomes:

  • Collaborative work with student government and other student organizations creates focus on mental health issues.
  • Increased information, education and messaging about accessing resources, positive coping skills, stress management, resilience, self-management, and helping/supporting others.
  • Effective mental health programs and infrastructure are resourced and optimized to meet priority mental health needs.
  • Mental health services are available when needed. Students, faculty and staff know how  to access mental health services.
  • Stigma of mental health is reduced on campus and in the NDSU community at large.

Substance Use

Substance use is a high-risk behavior and a cause for concern over its potential misuse and harm. Alcohol, tobacco, e-cigarettes, marijuana, illicit drugs and misuse of prescription drugs are all examples of substance use concerns that NDSU strives to continue to make positive cultural changes.

Substance Use outcome: NDSU is a campus community that supports healthy decisions related to substance use.
Culture change outcome: NDSU culture reflects healthy and responsible norms for substance use.

Preconditions for achieving desired Substance Use outcomes:

  • Collaborative work with student government and other student organizations rebrands substance “abuse” to focus on informed, responsible behaviors.
  • Effective substance use policies, mandatory education and infrastructure are resourced and optimized to meet priority campus community needs.
  • Increased information, education and messaging regarding substance use to address unmet needs of campus community, including accessing services/resources, prevention, self-help, low-risk use, evidence-based programs, interventions to get others the help they need.
  • Campus activities, events and messages are aligned with substance use policies and goals for a tobacco-free, dry campus.
  • Harm and negative impacts due to substance use are reduced.
  • Informed, responsible, legal use of substances extends into behaviors within the community at large. 

Social Connection

Social connection is a key factor in student retention and the perception of belonging. Students, faculty and staff who feel welcomed, included and who engage in the life of NDSU enhance their own well-being as well as the health of the NDSU community.

Social Connection outcome: NDSU is a vibrant community where members have fun, healthy relationships, are engaged and respect others.
Culture change outcome: NDSU culture reflects positive social norms.

Preconditions for achieving desired Social Connection outcomes:

  • Peer leaders model and facilitate positive social behaviors/skills.
  • Faculty and staff model and facilitate civility, respect and positive social skills.
  • Students have a range of opportunities for healthy social interactions that expose them to new ideas and interests, a diversity of people and an increased understanding of self and others.
  • There are links between academic and co-curriculum that support development of student self-knowledge, self-management and social skills. Students, faculty and staff model and facilitate civility, respect, tolerance, problem-solving ability and positive interpersonal skills.
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