Update regarding resources for student wellness and well-being

Read this message from Jon Dooley, vice president for student life, to returning Elon students.

Dear Returning Students:

Many of you will recall that President Book and President Emeritus Lambert wrote to you last January about the importance of student wellness and well-being. As we prepare for the new academic year, I want to update you on the progress we’ve made on the university commitments in that letter and be sure you have current information regarding campus resources to support wellness in all aspects of your life – mind, body and spirit.

Elon is a place where we take care of each other. I know you will do that for each other, just as my faculty and staff colleagues and I will help you focus on your own wellness and well-being. We encourage you to consider what it means to Act, Belong and Commit – three important steps to improving wellness and supporting mental health:

  • To stay alert and engaged by keeping mentally, socially, spiritually and physically active,
  • To maintain a strong sense of belonging by developing friendships, joining groups and participating in community activities, and
  • To do things that provide meaning and purpose in life, like taking up challenges, supporting a good cause, helping others and making a commitment to become a global citizen and informed leader, motivated by concern for the common good.

But we also know you may experience challenges along the way and will want the help and support of others. This message includes an update and summary of university resources.

Support for Students of Concern

There are a number of existing campus resources for student concerns or students in distress.  They are summarized on the Division of Student Life website at: https://www.elon.edu/u/administration/student-life/student-concerns/

Some helpful tips when you are worried about one of your peers can be found on the Counseling Services website here: https://www.elon.edu/worried-about-a-student/.

 For support with a non-emergency concern about a student, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 336-278-7200, or complete the online student concern report linked here: https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?ElonUniv&layout_id=1

Office of the Dean of Students

The Dean of Students office is a central hub for student support in moments of crisis, challenge and need. In addition to Student Life staff who are on-call 24/7, this support will be aided by the addition of a new Director of Student Concerns Outreach position. Information about the outreach and consultation available from the Office of the Dean of Students is available here: https://www.elon.edu/u/administration/student-life/dean-of-students/student-concerns-outreach/

Counseling Services

Counseling Services utilizes a brief therapy model, which is focused on helping students to effectively meet a desired change or goal. Last year the ratio of counselors to students was right in line with national recommendations for college counseling centers, but with the addition of three new counseling positions this year, Counseling Services will be able to further reduce wait times for non-emergency appointments and expand outreach to the community. The department will now offer a variety of services, such as group counseling, educational workshops, individual counseling, online screenings and resources and referral to community resources where appropriate.

Please review the scope of care information to determine if the services will fit your needs: https://www.elon.edu/u/health-wellness/counseling-services/overview-of-services/scope-of-care/. You may also call 336-278-7280 for a consultation, appointment, or referral.

Koenigsberger Learning Center 

Academic support within the Koenigsberger Learning Center – the new addition to the Belk Library – includes academic advising, disabilities resources, and learning assistance.  These units partner with students, faculty, and staff to help clarify academic policies and direct students to appropriate resources within the KLC and across campus for successful and timely degree completion.  The location of the KLC, adjoining the Belk Library, further strengthens a learning commons for student support.

Campus Recreation and Wellness 

Campus Recreation and Wellness changed its name this summer, with the addition of health promotion and wellness resources, including SPARKS Peer Educators. The department provides a variety of recreational and educational facilities, programs and services across five programmatic areas designed to help students, faculty and staff be well and live their best lives.

Student Health Services 

The mission of Elon Student Health Services (provided in partnership with Cone Health-Alamance Regional) is to provide quality evaluation and treatment of acute illness and injury to Elon University Students, and to meet public health responsibilities to the Elon University community. All students currently enrolled at Elon University are eligible for services; however, students will need to activate their student portal to schedule appointments and receive important messaging from staff. 

Well Connected – the First Six Weeks at Elon 

As returning students, I hope you are planning to extend a warm welcome to our new first-year and transfer students this week. A new series at Elon entitled Well Connected is designed to help new students get off to a strong start and attend to their holistic wellness from their earliest days at Elon. I hope you will support these efforts and participate in some of the events yourself.

Planning for the Future

Last year we reported on a university working group focused on student wellness and well-being.  We reviewed their recommendations this summer and will be actively implementing them this year and the years to follow. We will also continue our focus on suicide prevention by joining with the JED Foundation to participate in the four-year JED Campus process – a comprehensive review of systems, programs, and policies that will build upon existing student mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention efforts. Becky Neiduski, Dean of the School of Health Sciences and Professor of Health Sciences, and Jana Lynn Patterson, Associate Vice President for Student Life, Dean of Students, and Assistant Professor, will lead the 28-member campus review team and begin the initial phase of the review this fall.

Attending to your health and well-being will be an important part of your success at Elon. I hope you will take advantage of the resources available to you. I join my faculty and staff colleagues across the campus in wishing you a healthy, safe and productive year ahead.


Dr. Jon Dooley, Vice President for Student Life