2023-24: Exploring the continuum of emotional wellness

According to the World Health Organization, mental health conditions are increasing across the world. Those concerning increases are mirrored in the U.S. college student population, with a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) study finding that 42% of students in 2021 felt persistently sad or hopeless.

As we explore mental health and emotional well-being during the 2023-24 year, we address a broad range of questions such as: What are the underlying causes of mental health challenges, and how might they be addressed? How can students struggling with mental health conditions best be served? How can a wide-ranging consideration of emotional well-being aid students as they make decisions and navigate challenging life experiences? What resources and tools do students and the broader population need as they navigate these challenges? How can people learn the basic skills needed to navigate new situations so that they lessen stress and anxiety? What approaches can help people feel agency as they make decisions among competing choices?

Forum events

Thomas E. “Tucker” Lott

Make wise choices

A businessman and storyteller, Thomas E. “Tucker” Lott encouraged students to make positive choices, and reminded them they can always get back up if they fall “because falling happens.” 

Michael Bailey, Heather Koontz, and Laurel Neufeld Weaver

Emotional health

During Bluffton University’s Forum, Panel questions ranged from the reasons why mental health issues are on the rise to the obstacles people face in managing their emotional wellness. 

Charlene Coughlin

Marketing and mental health

Charlene Coughlin, who's worked with companies ranging from Sherwin-Williams to the Cleveland Natural History Museum, shared several examples of positive marketing.

David Glick

It's okay to fail

While working with the students, David Glick, 2007 alumn and pastor of student ministries at Ebenezer Mennonite Church, was open about his time on campus, including his struggles and successes.

Andrea Flack Wetherald

Brave Conversations

Social worker, author, comedian and 2010 graduate, Andrea Flack-Wetherald discussed the truths about starting “brave conversations”, as well as how they build trust and maintain strong relationships.

Lindsay Horn '19

Spiritual wellness

As guest speaker for spring Spiritual Life Week, Lindsay Horn ’19 shared four practices to cultivate an awareness of peace: detachment, silence, meditation and remembrance.