Expand the section navigation mobile menu
Student-Well-Being Banner

Student Well-Being

The focus of student wellness at OU is to empower students to lead healthy lifestyles and make positive decisions regarding personal health and well-being. Interested in bringing a health and wellness program to your class, student organization, employee group and more?  Contact [email protected] to submit a request for a program.

The wellness team collaborates across campus to provide relevant, high-quality health and wellness programs and educational opportunities to all students. Wellness workshops and programs can be requested by resident assistants, academic peer mentors, advisers, academic instructors, student groups, etc. Programs, workshops and events are open to all.

Several on-going well-being programs and services are available. Those include The Green Bandana Project, iPause, Bright Light Therapy, Pet Therapy and Student Wellness Coaching.

The Green Bandana Project

  • The purpose of The Green Bandana Project is to spread awareness of resources for those with mental health related struggles, break the stigma of mental health related concerns, and to develop a strong sense of connection and community at Oakland University.
  • The goal of this opt-in campaign is to continually display a green bandana; provided by University Recreation & Well-Being and the Dean of Students Office, to indicate that you are a safe person to approach with mental health related needs and that you are someone who knows where to find campus resources. Individuals who opt-into this campaign will not only be provided a green bandana, but also a campus resource card that should be used with anyone with mental health related needs.
  • Want to participate? Click here to sign up for the project.


A program designed to foster student, faculty and staff success through interactive workshops focuses on stress management through mindfulness, emotional intelligence, anxiety relief and the promotion of related campus resources. Peer-led for student workshops, and Pro-led for faculty/staff workshops. Email [email protected] to request the iPause program.

Bright Light Therapy

All currently enrolled students and other Recreation Center patrons are eligible to reserve and check out a bright light therapy box. This is an evidence-based practice that can be beneficial for seasonal depression, sleep and mood regulation. Bright light therapy typically runs from October through March. Boxes can be reserved through the Rec Well Portal.

Pet Therapy

Pet therapy is offered to the Oakland University community for free on a regular basis every semester to benefit one's mental, emotional and physical health. To get a full schedule of when the therapy dogs will be on campus and their location, visit the Rec Well Portal.

Mental Health First Aid Training

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), created by the National Council for Behavioral Health, teaches individuals how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders in adults.  The training provides skills needed to reach out and provide initial help and support to someone who many be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis.  Oakland University provides MHFA for students, faculty and staff for FREE! 

Additional information can be found by visiting the Rec Well Portal.

Student Wellness Coaching

Student Wellness Coaching is currently only available virtually, and is a free service offered to currently enrolled OU students who are wanting support when making healthy lifestyle changes. Submit a request for wellness coaching by emailing [email protected].

>For personal counseling, please contact the OU Counseling Center at 248-370-3465<

The goal of wellness coaching is to help you make positive changes in your life and help you take control of your health and well-being in areas such as managing stress, balancing time commitments, reaching fitness and nutrition goals, and sleep management.

There is no grading in wellness coaching and the changes you make are totally up to you. The coach will not make you do anything, rather will help you along the way by providing you with strategies to achieve your goals.

8 Dimensions of Wellness

The student wellness team uses the 8 Dimensions of Wellness model to educate the campus community on the various ways one can improve their overall health and wellness.  These dimensions include:

  • Physical Wellness
    • Exercise
      • Aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week
      • Add strength training activities at least 2 days per week
      • Try to spend less time sitting if possible
      • Participate in group fitness classes at the OU Rec. Center (students are FREE)
      • Make exercise fun by doing activities that you enjoy ... maybe try something new like participating in a sport that is offered at the OU Rec. Center
    • Sleep
      • Aim to sleep 7-9 hours per night
      • Naps should be between 15-30 minutes
      • Create a sleep-friendly environment (dark, quiet & cooler in temperature)
      • Avoid visual stimuli 20-30 minutes before sleep (bright lights, TV, cell phones, computers)
      • Try to maintain a regular wake & sleep schedule whenever possible
    • Nutrition
      • Aim to eat a variety of foods daily (eat the rainbow as often as possible)
      • Try to eat more produce opposed to processed foods
      • Diets that are lower in sugars and carbs are typically healthier for the body
      • Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day
      • Consider going to the Golden Grizzlies Pantry if you are low on food or simply want a quick snack to go during the day
    • Overall Prevention
      • Consider limiting your caffeine and/or alcohol consumption
      • Aim to see a healthcare doctor at least once per year for an overall preventative wellness check
      • Go to the OU Graham Health Center for your basic physical health needs 
      • Plan on going to the dentist every 6 months for a dental check-up and cleaning
      • Plan on going to the eye doctor once per year for a check-in on your vision
  • Emotional Wellness
    • Mental Health
      • Take a free online screening to assess your mental health and discover ways to get support 
      • Contact the OU Counseling Center if you need to seek professional support
      • Contact the OU SEHS Counseling Center if you need help coping with daily living issues like anxiety, grief and loss, situational depression, relationship concerns, stress management and other issues
      • Having a trustworthy person to talk to, getting regular exercise, sleeping 7-9 hours per night, eating healthy and regular meals can all contribute to supporting one's mental health
      • If you are struggling with your mental health and are having thoughts of suicide, please call 988 to get immediate help
    • Self-Care
      • Practicing self-care daily can enhance our ability to live fully and effectively
      • Activities to consider enjoying daily can include exercise, spending time in nature, listen to music, dance, read a book, practice deep breathing, meditate, spend intentional time with others, clean or organize your space, write down what you are grateful for, etc.
    • Feelings
      • Reflect each day on your emotions -- try to label your feelings, identify what they mean to you and how you can express them in a healthy way
      • Consider using a journal to record how you are feeling and your thoughts
    • Stress
      • Practice deep breathing when in stressful situations (ex: 5-9 breathing is when you inhale through your nose for 5 seconds and exhale out your mouth for 9 seconds).  Repeat that pattern of 5-9 breathing for a few cycles and notice how you feel
      • Don't have a stress ball handy when you could use it most?  That's okay.  Simply bring your attention to any muscle group and purposefully contract (squeeze) those muscles for 5 seconds, the purposefully relax those muscles to experience a deep sense of relaxation
      • Gratitude - when we think about what we appreciate and are grateful for, the calming part of our nervous system is triggered and helps us feel less stressed
      • Be Kind - showing kindness (especially when you are stressed) can increase your sense of happiness and self-esteem while reducing feelings of stress
      • Join a free support group through the OU Counseling Center to talk about what you are going through while receiving professional support in a small group setting
  • Social Wellness
    • Community
    • Social Time
      • Be sure to schedule time in your week to be social with friends / family
    • Meet New People
      • Are you open to meeting new people and expanding your network?  If so, look online or within your community to attend opportunities to meet new people.
        • If you like art, go to an art gallery.  If you enjoy history, visit historic sites.  If you enjoy exercise, go to the gym.  Try to connect with people in the places you enjoy being.
  • Intellectual Wellness
    • Education
      • Prioritize your education by making time to study, complete assignments/projects for classes
      • Expand what you are learning and challenge your mind by learning new things
      • Go to the OU Academic Success Center to join a study group, work with a tutor and receive additional academic support
      • Needing addition support? Contact the OU Disability Support Services office to find out how they can help you during your time at OU
      • Check out what the Dean of Students office has to offer so that students can be as successful as possible at OU
    • Personal Interests
      • Reflect on what you enjoy and consider new things you'd like to try
      • Join a student organization at OU to not only meet new people but to embrace your interests
    • Mind Exercises
      • Keep your mind sharp by playing brain games like sudoku, word searches, or crossword puzzles
      • Participate in the word of the day to challenge your learning and knowledge
      • Engage in stimulating conversations with others and be willing to expand your vocabulary
  • Financial Wellness
    • Work
      • Search for employment on & off campus to support your finances through Handshake
      • Have your resume updated so you can promptly submit it when you see an opportunity you're interested in
    • Bank Accounts
      • Talk to the OU Credit Union in the Oakland Center about different types of accounts and how to manage them
    • Understanding Debt
      • Debt can be accumulated in various ways; through credit cards, loans, medical bills, taxes and other living expenses
      • Contact the OU Student Financial Services office to discuss loans, education related bills, and applying for aid
  • Occupational Wellness
    • Employment
      • Go to the OU Career & Life Design Center to get support with your resume, navigating Handshake, searching for on-campus jobs, setting up a LinkedIn profile, interviewing skill building, create a cover letter and get a professional headshot taken for FREE 
    • Work Relations
      • Having healthy relations with those you work with is important.  So consider getting involved in your job to connect with others and begin developing strong relationships with your colleagues
    • Balance
      • Take time to reflect often to ensure you have a healthy balance between your work life and your personal life.  If you find yourself not feeling well balanced, consider taking steps to improve your balance at work and at home
  • Spiritual Wellness
    • Beliefs
      • Take time to focus on the things you believe and value.
      • Consider sharing your beliefs, values and principles with others as a means of deepening relationships and expanding your worldview
    • Involvement
      • Learn about different student organizations in the OU community and decide which one(s) are the best fit for you to get involved in
  • Environmental Wellness
    • Green Living
      • Get involved with the Sustaining Our Planet Earth group on-campus
      • Volunteer at the Campus Student Organic Farm and get involved with other students, faculty & staff to help grow plants, fruits and vegetables for others to benefit from
      • Recycle items as often as possible and try to buy recycled products when applicable
      • Try limiting how much water you may be wasting daily (turn the water off when brushing your teeth, take quick showers, only turn the water on when you actually need it)
      • Reflect on your power use every day.  Are you leaving the lights on even when you aren't in the room? Could you be doing a full load of laundry opposed to smaller loads that use more energy & water? 
    • Scenery
      • Find outdoor activities that you enjoy that help you appreciate your surroundings
        • When walking around campus, be mindful of what you are seeing, hearing, smelling and touching regarding the natural environment (plants, trees, wildlife, etc.)
    • Personal Environments
      • Keep your spaces clean, tidy and organized
      • Make a weekly schedule for yourself (ex: clean the bathroom on Sundays, dusting and sweeping every Wednesday, laundry on Fridays, etc.)

Recreation Center

Recreation and Athletics Center
569 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-4REC (4732)
fax: (248) 370-4889