WELLNESS COACHING SUPPORTS MENTAL WELLNESS
We have started a new school year with the shadow of the past year and a half still hanging over us. We’ve changed how we work, learn, and socialize. We’ve changed how we shop for groceries, how we pass one another on the street, even how we wash our hands. And we’ve experienced changes in our community: loss of neighbors, dear friends, and loved ones.
The residual impacts of these changes still linger. And for so many of us, the impact has landed squarely on our mental wellness, making it even more important for us to connect: with support resources and with one another.
The University of Utah has a variety of resources that support student mental health/wellness. University Counseling Center, Mindfulness Center, and Women’s Resource Center offer wonderful services and programming like counseling, support and processing groups, workshops, and guided meditations. Center for Student Wellness complements these offerings, in part, with our Wellness Coaching services.
Wellness coaching can be viewed as a proactive behavior that helps you maintain your wellness. Sitting down (in-person or virtually!) with a coach provides the time and space to verbalize your wellness goals, identify obstacles in your way, and co-create a plan that will help you move towards your vision. While Wellness coaching is different from therapy or counseling, it can be utilized alongside it to provide you with an optimal support network.
Center for Student Wellness is pleased to welcome two graduate assistants serving as our Wellness Coaches this year: Bekah Rees and Karly Ackley. Bekah and Karly are studying Health Education & Wellness Coaching in the Department of Health and Kinesiology. They bring a shared passion for wellness and their own unique perspectives to their sessions.
Get to know Bekah and Karly below!
What’s your personal approach to wellness coaching?
Bekah: I strive for meaningful life development through positive behaviors. As a coach, I help people identify what it means to have a meaningful life and set realistic goals that help them manifest that.
Karly: My approach to wellness coaching is to form a trustful relationship with people so that I can guide them toward their health goals in the most productive and helpful way.
How do you take care of your mental wellness?
Bekah: I try to fill my life with small things I call “joy fillers.” This is anything that sparks a positive emotion for me. These things include getting active, getting creative, and being around my favorite people. By being intentional with my actions, I have found that I can enjoy the small things in life, and I have better peace of mind because of it.
Karly: For my own mental health, I like to be physically active with running, biking, and hiking and I like to slow down my mind by journaling and reading books.
How can wellness coaching benefit students' mental wellness?
Bekah: My role as a coach is not to tell you what to do but to help you recognize what is important to you, guide you in setting goals, and help you achieve them. This is important to mental health as it allows you to decide what actions you will take in self-improvement, but you are not alone in this process.
Karly: Wellness coaching can offer an outlet for students to take time to reflect on their mental health and work through the barriers they are facing. With the Center for Student Wellness, there is an added benefit of having the coaches be students themselves, which allows us to relate to certain struggles and experiences on a level that others may not be able.
If you’re interested in meeting with them, you can fill out the form at the bottom of this page. Sessions are free and a wonderful way to help keep you feeling supported throughout the academic year.