The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

First Annual Well-Being Week Brings Mindfulness to Bates


Monday Sept. 25 marked the beginning of the first annual Well-Being week at Bates College. 

The week featured events including a Well-Being Fair, a panel discussion on the rise of therapy, a Well-Being Wagon, and Big Prize Trivia. These activities were complemented by regular campus programming like pilates and yoga classes, Pause (a Multifaith Chaplaincy event), Village Club Series, and Hearth.

“Well-Being at Bates” is headed by Andee Bucciarelli, Associate Director of Residence Life and Health Education and Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students, along with Brenna Callahan, Associate Director of Health Services for Student Support, and support from Blake Reilly, Associate Dean of Students. 

The Integrated Well-Being Team is a collaboration between Bates Health Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, Sports Medicine, and the Office of Residence Life & Health Education. 

The team’s mission, according to their website is “to support students to define what well-being means for you and to take ownership of and action in your well-being journey.” The website suggests that well-being may look like finding and developing social connections, finding joy in the college experience and developing routines that address one’s needs and managing discomfort. 

The demands of college can put significant stress on students. Academic, social and environmental pressures can greatly affect students’ ability to manage their well-being. 

Based on student feedback requesting more well-being support on campus, Buccarelli and Callahan conducted a needs assessment. Throughout the 2023 winter semester, the two met with over 200 student leaders from Bates College Student Government (BCSG), B-First Fellows and Kessler Scholars, among others, to identify what well-being meant to them.

This research identified nine dimensions of well-being: Academic, Environmental, Financial, Mental, Occupational, Physical, Relational, Social, and Spiritual. According to Blake Reilly, “the nine dimensions of well-being are unique to Bates, but they’re based on a model that’s been successful in some substance use recovery programs, but also on college campuses across the country.” 

The week served as a launch event and promotion for Well-Being at Bates. “Our hope for Well-Being Week is for students to create new connections with the people, programs, and offices on campus that support well-being,” says Buccarelli in an email interview. “We hope that students will learn about a recurring program that they may be able to work into their routine in service of supporting their well-being in some way,” she added.

When asked about student feedback, Reilly indicated that, despite some upperclassmen confusion about who and what Well-Being at Bates is, students have been receptive to their presence and events. 

Jamie Hollander ‘24, though unaware initially that it was Well-Being Week, discovered it “when someone drove past me in a golf cart and threw candy at me,” (a nod to the Well-Being Wagon). Hollander expressed her support for the initiative, saying, “I think it’s good that Bates is doing some strategies to address wellness.” 

Ella Nichol ‘26 echoed Hollander’s support and expressed a desire for more well-being events, saying, “I feel like they can do more than one wellness week– it doesn’t need to be a one and done; they can carry this momentum forward.”

The Well-Being team hopes to work more with student groups in the future, while also anticipating the week to change as the landscape of well-being changes. “Well-being is different for every person, and it’s ever changing with the context and environments that we’re in,” said Reilly. “The Well-Being program will be something that’s not stagnant; it’ll be ever-morphing.”

When asked about the importance of such initiatives, Buccarelli responded, “Events like those during Well-Being Week are crucial to eliminate barriers to accessing resources for students. We hope that the more we are able to talk about well-being as a campus community, the more prepared we all are to support ourselves proactively, and the easier it will be for students who need support in any dimension of their well-being to access it.”

The group plans to continue offering well-being-themed programs and events throughout the year.

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About the Contributor
Trinity Poon
Trinity Poon, Managing News Editor
Trinity is a sophomore from Sandwich, MA with a double major in English and French. She has been writing for The Student since the Fall of her first-year. She is a member of the Women's Ultimate Frisbee team, Cold Front, and plays the trumpet at Bates. When she is not writing and tossing disks, Trinity enjoys reading, running and spending time outdoors. 

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