FAU Launches ‘Healthy Campus 2020’ Initiative

Healthy Campus 2020 is a national effort by the American College Health Association to improve the overall health of students, faculty and staff on college campuses nationwide.


By kelsie-weekes | 10/12/2016

Feeling stressed about classes? Not getting enough sleep? Struggling to find time for the gym? FAU’s Division of Student Affairs wants to help you take action on your journey to better health.

Launched at FAU this semester, Healthy Campus 2020 is a national effort by the American College Health Association to improve the overall health of students, faculty and staff on college campuses nationwide. FAU’s Division of Student Affairs saw this effort as a great fit for FAU, and chose four focus areas for the university community.

“Healthy lifestyle, sexual health and well-being, mental health and substance use reduction were the areas we thought we could have the most impact,” said Kirk Dougher, director of FAU’s Counseling and Psychological Services. “We’re looking at practices, policies, interventions and adjustments that can change behavior and culture on campus.”

To jumpstart students on improving their health, Owls Care Health Promotion (OCHP) has created the Healthy Owls Challenge, a three-part social media challenge encouraging students to nourish, move and rest their bodies. After registering online, participants have three days to complete three health challenges. They must post a picture or video on social media using the hashtag #HealthyOwlsChallenge to show them eating nutritiously, as physically active or resting their body in a healthy way.

“We’ve found that only about 5 percent of FAU students are consuming recommended intakes of fruits and vegetables,” said Sareen Gropper, Ph.D., a committee member on FAU’s Healthy Campus Initiative and a professor in the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing.

As part of an effort to improve sexual health and well-being on campus, FAU has implemented a safer sex kit program available in each of its residence halls. The kits, packaged in paper bags, contain a consent message along with six condoms, one package of lubricant, and  an instruction pamphlet,and are sealed with a sticker advertising STI testing at Student Health Services. As a result of this program, FAU distributed an additional 16,000 condoms on campus last year.

To meet students’ mental health needs, FAU also has launched an interactive, online course that prepares users to recognize the signs of psychological distress such as depression, anxiety and substance abuse. All student workers in FAU’s Division of Student Affairs must participate in the training. Since August 2015, 587 FAU students have completed the training, and FAU hopes to continue expanding the program to as many students as possible.

 “Healthy Campus 2020 has the ultimate goal of improving the health and well-being of the FAU community,” said Dougher. “We are collecting data and feedback, and charting a course for how we can best assist students toward a healthier lifestyle.”

For more information about Healthy Campus 2020, visit fau.edu/healthycampus. 

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