Dear Alumni, Parents, and Friends,
We’ve learned that we are not immune from the national mental health crisis affecting communities around the country. We are experiencing it on our campus, in our community, and in our day-to-day lives.
In keeping with our history of taking bold and courageous actions, earlier this year, our students sounded a clarion call for systemic improvements to our mental health and wellness offerings on campus. As a direct result of their powerful and compassionate activism, we elevated mental health and wellness to one of our strategic lenses that, like antiracism and sustainability, inform everything we do.
During times of challenge and difficulty, we discover a community’s mettle. And what we learned is that CC may be just what the world needs today to address mental health and wellness.
For instance, two CC faculty members, Professor of Psychology Tomi-Ann Roberts and Associate Professor of Psychology and Asian Studies Jason Weaver, recently published with colleagues a report showing that a three-day social media fast improved pre-teen and teen girls’ body image, self-esteem, and self-compassion.
As Roberts notes, Colorado College may inherently provide a solution: small classes for at least three hours a day, making eye contact in discussions with a professor and classmates, going on experiential field-study trips, and being immersed in in-person learning with others.
CC fosters agency, problem-solving, and relationship-building in even more ways:
- The ability to have a voice in student government and campus life, practice leadership, participate in athletics and student organizations, dive into community engagement, and work on campus
- The chance to create a project and pursue a Venture Grant, research with a faculty member, publish a paper, present at conferences, and create music, choreography, video, photography, art, theatre, and writing
- The opportunity to face unknowns and adventure through study abroad, field study, and outdoor education
- The opportunity for students to create their own major
- The encouragement to map one’s life path with the guidance of academic and career center advisors
As we do the hard work of listening, committing, and implementing change to bolster mental health and wellness, I am buoyed by this community’s ability to rally, face difficult truths, and take action.
Thank you to the students, staff, faculty, alumni, and parents who are offering their expertise and support and are contributing to the important work of co-creating a healthy, caring, and compassionate community for years and generations to come.
L. Song Richardson