Dartmouth Uses Social Media to Promote Wellness

Dartmouth Health Service is raising awareness about mental health and wellness.

Winter can be a difficult time, especially with the short days and cold weather typical of February and March in Hanover. Add in the everyday pressures of classes, deadlines, exams, and extracurricular commitments and it becomes even more important for students to prioritize their mental and physical wellbeing.

That's why the Dartmouth College Health Service has partnered with the Office of Communications to help get the word out about resources available to students to support mental health and wellness.

"One of the many great things about Dartmouth is the importance that so many people put on building relationships and caring for each other," says Heather Earle, director of counseling services. "This includes Dartmouth's campus-wide approach to promoting mental health—it takes all members of our community working to raise awareness, help combat stigma, and help to foster a campus where students in distress feel cared for and know the many campus resources that can provide support."

This week, the College posted an Instagram story with links to a range of these resources—from counseling services through the health service's center at Dick's House to programming at the Student Wellness Center—which, among other things, provides workshops on holistic wellness and mindfulness (including drop-in mindfulness meditation sessions every Friday at noon)—to the William Jewett Tucker Center, which offers confidential pastoral counseling for students of all faiths.

The story—which appears on Dartmouth's Instagram page and as messages scrolling the TV monitors at Dick's House—also encourages students to think about their social and physical wellness. Among other ideas, it urges students to make time to connect with friends and participate in organizations, house community activities, and other events, and to get enough exercise through physical education and recreation resources like the Zimmerman Fitness Center and Fitness and Lifestyle Improvement Program classes.

It also encourages students to set healthy limits on social time. "Say no when you need a break," the story says.

Finally, the story reminds students, "Self-care looks different for everyone. Take care of yourself and support others."

Look for more wellness outreach projects on Dartmouth social media channels in the near future.

Hannah Silverstein can be reached at hannah.silverstein@dartmouth.edu.