Student wellbeing and student wellness initiatives are receiving additional support thanks to a private gift received from UNM President Garnett Stokes and her husband, Dr. Jeff Younggren, through the newly created Garnett Stokes Health and Wellbeing Endowed Fund and the Student Affairs Health and Wellbeing Fund.
The funds are designed to support student wellness by creating intersections between mental health, basic needs, physical wellbeing, social engagement, belonging, and academic success. The Vice President for Student Affairs Office, the Dean of Students Office, and Student Health and Counseling (SHAC) Health Promotions oversee the programming.
"Investing in programming that makes student wellness-related resources more visible and forefronts wellbeing as an intentional part of the campus culture has the potential to pay dividends in student retention, graduation, and satisfaction while decreasing the acuity of more broad mental health and wellness concerns," Dr. Eric Scott, vice president for student affairs said.
The funding will help facilitate enhanced collaboration among the Student Affairs departments by offering wellness programming and resources. The funding will assist in providing wellness outreach to students and be promoted campuswide.
"We are grateful and tremendously excited about this gift and ready to extend wellness beyond the walls of SHAC,” said Dr. Stephanie McIver, executive director for Student Health and Counseling. This new funding will help us bring to fruition the vision that we and students have had for a wellness presence across campus. And we are looking forward to this ongoing collaboration with the associate dean of Student Wellness. This is a partnership focused on improving the wellbeing and quality of life for UNM students, and this funding will certainly help us achieve that goal."
"Healthy students can explore, learn, challenge, and grow. At UNM, we consider all aspects of student wellbeing to support their academic advancements better and strengthen our entire community," Nasha Torrez, dean of students, said. "This generous contribution acknowledges student wellbeing as a foundation for student development and is completely in line with the needs of our student body and New Mexico."
These two funds will magnify the existing resources and longstanding staff commitment to wellbeing and student success at UNM by providing flexibility, visibility, and validation for the dedicated teams tending to the expansion of a culture of wellbeing at UNM.