University Launches Survey To Gauge Campus Mental Health

Grace James
Contributing Writer

This article was originally published on Feb. 28

Starting Feb. 18, a new health survey will be emailed to all undergraduate students with the goal of learning more about the mental and physical health of the UD community.

The survey will be administered on a three-year cycle and takes between 20 to 25 minutes to complete. The results will subsequently be used to create and adjust services to better assist the student body. Many departments at the university are interested in using the survey results to improve their services, including Health and Wellness, Dining Services and the Office of Learning Resources.

“We want to know what are the top problems our students are being challenged with,” said Melissa Longino, the director of Campus Recreation.

“It is about normalizing challenges and giving students the tools to overcome them,” added Sarah DeWitt, coordinator of Health Education and Wellness Promotion.

The survey is a part of the “Healthy Minds Study” by the University of Michigan, which is collecting data from more than 200 colleges. It looks at mental health as well as other areas including nutrition, drug use and sleep habits. Participants have the option to skip over any questions they do not feel comfortable answering.

The answers submitted in the survey are confidential and cannot be traced back to the participant.  Each week, UD will receive a list of emails of the students who completed the survey. Participants then will receive an email with instructions to pick up a free t-shirt provided by Healthy Minds, and they will also be entered into a national sweepstakes for one of 10 $100 prizes and one of two $500 prizes.

The Student Government Association’s (SGA) mental health committee has also been working hard to promote the survey and its benefits.

“I believe the survey is really important for our community because it will serve as a foundation and catalyst for serious change on campus,” said Ryan Muskin, chair of the mental health committee. “Former studies have shown that SGA generally is more effective at engaging students at UD than the faculty and administration, so we are trying our best to engage with our peers and increase participation.”

“The survey itself gives students an opportunity to voice what they believe to be issues about mental health services on campus as well as their own experiences,” said Brianna Gavin, co-chair of the mental health committee. “It’s going to be an empowering, powerful experience for not only them, but also the entire UD community.”

The survey runs for three weeks, from Feb. 18 to March 8.

Photo courtesy of Sarah DeWitt 

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