The Office of Student Health & Well-Being is changing the URL of its site from https://wellness.jhu.edu to https://wellbeing.jhu.edu. The office has also updated its Instagram handle to @jhuwellbeing.
The shift from wellness to well-being was done for several reasons, primarily to ensure that our terminology is inclusive.
The word "wellness" can often be associated with health and can be interpreted to mean an absence of illness or chronic conditions. That interpretation can feel limiting, especially when wellness is considered to be the state to which everyone should aspire. The medicalization of disability and pathologizing of mental health are just two examples where inclusive terms around well-being can help us all think broadly about destigmatizing conversations about our holistic selves. As a result, we foster an empowered community of students and trainees who feel supported.
Secondly, we're adding an eighth element to our well-being wheel: environmental well-being. Environmental well-being acknowledges the influence a person's external surroundings have on other aspects of health. The effects can be positive (spending time in nature lowers blood pressure, reduces stress hormones, and improves overall mood) or negative (exposure to air pollution and other toxins can be harmful).
It is our responsibility to protect environmental resources and increase their availability to all communities. This change can happen on institutional and personal levels. At the university level, we are implementing a Climate Action Plan. In parallel with systemwide efforts, individuals can make environmentally conscious consumer choices. They can also advocate against environmental harm and injustice at local, regional, and global levels.
The SHWB office, in partnership with others, can help inform and support students' efforts. To get started, explore the full library of Hopkins environmental well-being resources.