Wednesday 18th February is Lancaster University’s Mental Health and Well-Being Day. According to their website, it is “a day to feel good and live well”. I won’t get distracted by suggesting that every day is a day to feel good and live well; rather, I wanted to focus on tips for well-being being provided by the LU Community through Twitter on the #LUWellBeing hashtag.
There are some good tips on there. They range from stroking a cat, to giving someone a hug, to walking to work, to saving nice emails and re-reading them when feeling a bit down.
These are all good. They do, however, all assume individual choice. I’m not (yet) seeing any tweets that ask about the University’s role in promoting well-being. So, I’d like to ask what a University could do to ensure its staff and students feel good? (One tweet does question the back-to-back scheduling of exam weeks, for instance).
Universities nowadays are places of increased workload due to pressures of REF, league tables and their like. Students, too, are feeling it. So, when a University decides to introduce that next initiative, rather than simply asking the usual question of whether it will positively affect the bottom line, perhaps it should also be asking what the impact on well-being will be in its community.