• Be Good to You!

      Gruenewald, Steve
      A survey by the American College Health Association indicated that three out of five students experienced overwhelming anxiety, and two out of five students were too depressed to function (Roy, 2018). There has been a significant increase in the number of students being referred to a mental health provider after showing signs of distress in their daily interactions at school, etc. Living Works has gatekeeper training for individuals called the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills (ASIST) program. Living Works estimates that ASIST has prevented over 300,00 suicide attempts (Living Works, 2020). Part of the ASIST program encourages the development of regular self-care activities. The Be Good to You! activity was developed and implemented to provide students a self-care activity. Many students are simply in need of a healthy release for the stressor that is affecting them. The activity has been used for over three years with positive feedback from both undergraduate and graduate students. The activity is presented as a regular course assignment given to all students, regardless of the course delivery platform. The activity is introduced the first day of the semester and the students have until the week before finals week to complete the activity. Be Good to You! has two parts. The first part is to get instructor approval for the activity and then post proof that the activity was completed. This proof is usually a selfie photo of the student engaged in the activity. Students have engaged in getting a massage, mani-pedi, attending sporting events, playing with animals at the local humane society, hiking, surfing, running in a marathon, Christmas caroling, going to the zoo with their nieces and nephews, getting a deluxe facial treatment, clothes shopping, and many other activities. Students have given positive comments on the activity in the course evaluations. One student commented that this assignment should be part of every college course because the assignment required them to focus on themselves and relax doing something that brings them joy. Another student wrote that this assignment has proven that stepping back from the stress of school gave a renewed energy for studying and will be something they do regularly in the future. Several students commented that this one assignment helped them to stay present and better manage the imposed requirements of their classes and life experiences. In-class feedback from students has been positive and several students felt that this activity had a positive impact on their feelings about school. Providing this activity as part of the course sends a message that taking time for yourself and destressing can bring the student's perceptions and life more into balance. References Living Works. (2020, January 13). Living Works. Retrieved from Living Works Corporation Web site: https://www.livingworks.net/history Roy, N. (2018, December 17). Higher Education Today. Retrieved from higheredtoday.org: https://www.higheredtoday.org/2018/12/17/rise-mental-health-college-campuses-protecting-emotional-health-nations-college-students/