The mission of the Department of Health Promotion is to support the University's general educational mission by providing for the health education needs of the university's diverse student population of the five major campuses. This includes: 1) creating and responding to opportunities for students to examine their personal behavior, 2) creating and responding to opportunities for students to analyze and challenge the socio-cultural/political structures and peer norms which affect their health and the health of the broader community, and 3) creating conditions, structures and systems which can promote the well-being and inter-connectedness of communities.
Our goals are to assist the student community in increasing discussion, examining issues and exploring the underlying contexts of selected health behavior which impact on academic success; and to energize the university community to think critically and take action for reducing unwanted and increasing desired consequences of students' health-related behavior.
We recognize that efforts to promote health have several qualities. Health is a multi-faceted, lifelong process which involves physical, emotional, intellectual, social, sexual and spiritual well-being. We know that health is about more than just information and behavior change, such as drinking and drugging, nutrition and eating, human relationships, sexuality and environmental management. Our approach is to foster student empowerment, encouraging individuals and groups to grapple with the critical personal and social questions which affect their overall well-being, looking at both the behavior and the context of such issues as the use of food and chemical substances to manage feelings and situations, and sexuality as a part of being human. We encourage students to think holistically about the connections among their health choices, their personal needs and their social environments. We seek to create and strengthen opportunities for enhancing community health through cultural change, by strengthening social support, and facilitating the transformation of norms, values and institutional conditions.
We also encourage students to engage in active and sustained dialogue, and to work with one another, faculty and staff to develop initiatives where they can consider health-related issues in an ongoing way. We seek to create these opportunities through teaching, community service and community development initiatives, by focusing with students on leadership, health advocacy and skill development.