BYU Student Wellness emphasizes six sides of wellness


Student health comprises more than just physical aspects. The number of students enrolled in counseling centers throughout the nation has increased by 30%, but enrollment in general admissions for colleges has only gone up by 6% according to a 2015 report by the Center for Collegiate Mental Health.

BYU Student Wellness has decided to intervene with student mental health declines and now provides events to educate the student body on the six sides of the wellness hexagon.

According to Tanner Skabelund, team leader of BYU Student Wellness, the six sides of the wellness hexagon are physical, financial, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual.

BYU students participate in the Midnight Beach Bash event put on by BYU Student Wellness. (BYU Student Wellness)

“We’ve been trying to have more emphasis on the student body,” Skabelund said. “The incident in the Tanner Building last year brought a lot of attention to overall student wellness.”

Skabelund explained that students generally measure their health purely on the physical side of the wellness hexagon. BYU Student Wellness plans to take this physical-based focus and turn it into general awareness. 

The organization moved in that direction last month with BYU’s Midnight Beach Bash. The on-campus bash had activities to promote physical activity. The activities provided included everything from Zumba to volleyball to a water obstacle course.

“This is how we are going to make the shift,” Skabelund said. “The more focus we have on fun physical activities, the more we can move to other sides of the hexagon in future events.”

Around 900 students attended the Beach Bash, which was a greater turn-out than previous years.

“BYU Student Wellness has done this event for years and has typically enjoyed success while doing it,” Joseph Whiting, report manager for BYU Student Wellness, said.

The event provided prizes like T-shirts, sunglasses and pens, which were distributed through various games and raffles. Loud music pumped from through the Smith Field House as students filtered in and out.

“The rock wall is so awesome,” said Rob Reynolds, who attended the event. “We don’t usually get to see fun active stuff like this on campus. I’m stoked to see what else these guys come up with. It really gets me out of my own head.”

According to Whiting, a wellness week is planned for February or March, but BYU Student Wellness has not yet planned out the specifics for future events.

The events that BYU Student Wellness put on seek to improve the overall health of the student body to beat the statistics.

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