What is the Well-being Academy?
The Academy provides training for faculty, staff, and students in support of student well-being. There are two tracks: Motivational Interviewing and Academic Partnerships.
Please go to our Wolverine Wellness form to inquire about any of the trainings listed below
Motivational Interviewing Trainings
Motivational interviewing (MI) trainings are about arranging conversations so people talk themselves into change based on their own values and interests (Miller and Rollnick, 2013). This philosophy includes MI spirit, the components of which are:
- Compassion: have the best interest of your student at heart
- Absolute worth
- Autonomy support
- Accurate empathy
- Partnership: Collaborative instead of prescriptive
- Evocation: Pulling out student wisdom on themselves
MI also focuses on what seems a paradox: "When a [student] feels accepted for who they are and what they do–no matter how unhealthy– it allows them the freedom to consider change rather than needing to defend against it," Bill Miller.
We do our best to meet students where they are behaviorally, find out what their values and goals are, and should they want it, offer respectful assistance. Training offerings include:
- Compassionate Conversations (2 hours). This session supports student well-being through respectful conversations that draw on student wisdom about themselves based on MI spirit. Free for U-M employees and students.
- Wellness Ambassador Training (8 hours, 1 hour for lunch). This training is part investigation about well-being as a concept, resources on campus, and some basic MI practice. Training objectives are to provide strategies to have helpful conversations with students to mobilize them toward their goals. Free for U-M employees and students.
- Introduction to Motivational Interviewing (20 hours over 4 weeks), offered in the fall and winter. A comprehensive practice using MI spirit, foundational skills, and strategies to help guide students through behavior change. This training can be helpful to a variety of Student Life staff, including counselors/therapists, organization advisors, medical staff, health educators, supervisors, and more. Free to Student Life employees. Free to students with permission. Cost for U-M staff outside of Student Life is $200 per person. Tailored departmental trainings for a fee can be requested by emailing Marsha Benz.
Academic Partnership Trainings
These options are available to faculty, instructors, and GSIs to help incorporate well-being into their work with students.
- Advisors and Mentors Training and Support: Introduction to Well-Being and Resources. This one-hour session fits well into a department staff meeting for advisors, faculty, instructors, and staff who see students for issues other than wellness, but well-being comes up in conversations. Participants will learn what informs the work, common reasons that cause advisors to feel stuck, and campus resources and trainings available for addressing well-being.
- Faculty-facing Compassionate Conversations. An engaging two-hour session that will challenge participants to explore compassion and empathy as tools in both mentoring and classroom engagement. Faculty and instructors often want to support the mental health and well-being of their students, while also questioning whether they are equipped to do so.
- Designing & Teaching Well-being Courses and Modules. A consultation for those wishing to design a course with a holistic well-being foundation, or for including a module on well-being into an existing course.
- Intro to the Wellness Check-in Intervention (for large, introductory courses). Learn how to use 1:1 check-ins to support instructional staff and students with a brief well-being and academic intervention for students at a high-stress time of the semester.
- Consultations for Integrating Well-being into Department Curriculum and Policies. An option for leaders to integrate well-being initiatives at the systems and policy level in their department.
- Using the Well-being Toolkit for Supporting Student Well-being (tools, resources, skill-building). A skills-based workshop for incorporating well-being tools into meetings and class discussions.