The stressors students encounter during their time on campus can affect their emotional, physical and mental health. Students are letting their voices be heard for schools to provide more opportunities for balance and growth. One of those ways is the addition of wellness centers.
The psychological health of a student is important to their well-being, like the physical health that is a typical focus in a recreation center. More often campus recreation facilities are being designed with components that integrate and promote students’ mental health. A holistic approach to well-being is becoming more of a priority for students, with a mind-body-spirit approach.
Wellness Center Benefits
Programs within a wellness center can provide services like:
- Education with topics including mindfulness, self-care, stress and nutrition
Wellness centers can be a bridge and connection point to other health services on campus like counseling and psychological centers. These centers allow for on-site counselors and ambassadors who can help students with an interest in making a healthy lifestyle change and need a safe place to start.
When designing a wellness space, there are several factors to keep in mind like being welcoming, and providing privacy and safety. Another factor that promotes wellness is related to sustainability and typical goals that develop a more sustainable facility.
For example, the strategies behind indoor environmental quality — providing comfortable, controllable and healthier interior environments — help promote the wellness of the building occupants. These include:
- Designing a recreation center and wellness space that maximizes natural daylight while optimizing automatic lighting controls.
- Maximizing views to the outside and nature, placing key wellness spaces toward the exterior of the building.
Wellness centers can provide an opportunity to create a direct connection to an outdoor space or terrace — an environment for reprieve and balance. Students can participate in gatherings within a safe, outdoor space that can provide stress-free skill-building or group activities like yoga or mindfulness workshops.
Wellness centers within campus rec can help empower the well-being and health of students beyond physical growth.
Hannah Evwaraye is a project architect in the Sports and Student Focused Facilities studio at Moody Nolan. Through her work and experience in higher education, she has developed a passion for creating environments that allow students, faculty and staff to thrive and meet their vision and goals.