Feb 28, 2018 | Atlanta, GA
In November 2018, the President’s A Path Forward – Together Student Mental Health Action Team recommended that the Institute implement continuing periodic student surveys on mental health. The last time Georgia Tech administered a health-related survey was in 2011, when most current students were not enrolled.
The Office of Health & Well-Being (HWB) and the Division of Student Life have come together to host three surveys examining a variety of mental health and well-being topics this spring:
- The Healthy Minds Study
- The Wake Forest University Well-Being Assessment
- The Ohio State University College Prescription Drug Use Study
Results from these surveys will help campus leaders in understanding the Georgia Tech culture as it relates to mental health and well-being, identifying the needs of our campus, and finding opportunities to expand and add to programs and services. Each survey will provide us with a current and unique bird’s eye view of health and well-being on our campus.
The Healthy Minds Study (HMS) examines mental health, service utilization and help-seeking behaviors, and related issues among undergraduate and graduate students. HMS will provide Tech's leadership with the data necessary to understand the specific mental health needs of Georgia Tech students and identify gaps in services and programs. Over 180 colleges and universities have administered HMS since it launched in 2007. Other institutions have noted that the results have not only informed programs that directly address student mental health, but also impacted how administration and professors understand the state of mental health on campus. The results from HMS will bring about awareness of student mental health at Georgia Tech and help HWB and the Division of Student Life advocate for a campus culture shift around mental health and well-being.
The Wake Forest University Well-Being Assessment is a dynamic, multidimensional measure of holistic wellbeing in undergraduate students covering topics such as purpose, belonging, relationships, and intellectual curiosity. The assessment will help to provide a picture of student well-being at Georgia Tech and how we can best support the development of necessary skills, the availability of resources, and optimal conditions for achieving well-being. In only its second year, this assessment is shifting from the traditional study focus of examining risk-reducing behaviors to exploring the complete well-being of students.
Lastly, the Ohio State University College Prescription Drug Use Study analyzes non-medical use of prescription and non-prescription drugs. In 2015, this study found, across all institutions surveyed, that some common reasons for non-medical use of prescription drugs were to study or improve grades, relieve anxiety, to get sleep, and to enhance social situations. This study will give us a clear picture of what is happening on our campus so we can appropriately guide the development and improvement of educational programming for students and guide policy and practice at Georgia Tech.
More than half of all Georgia Tech students will be invited to participate in one of these surveys. “We are very excited to offer these surveys to our students,” explained Suzy Harrington, Executive Director of Health & Well-Being. “These surveys are pivotal in helping us understand your health behaviors so that we can promote, nurture, and enrich a community of health, well-being, and caring at Georgia Tech.” With a general lack of specific data, as noted by the Student Mental Health Action Team, it has been difficult for administrators to get a comprehensive look at the campus culture around mental health and well-being. “These surveys are an opportunity for students to share their thoughts and perceptions of well-being on campus,” continued Harrington, “allowing us to develop and enhance programs that are data-driven and speak directly to unique needs of Georgia Tech.”
“These anonymous surveys allow you to give us honest feedback on some crucial issues affecting our community” commented John Stein, Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students. “I hope, if you are invited, you make the time to complete the survey. Your thoughts and opinions are important to us as we plan the path forward.”
Students that are selected to participate will have 2 to 4 weeks to complete the survey after receiving the initial email. Those who complete their surveys will be entered into a random drawing for multiple prizes valued up to $500. Details about how to participate, timelines, and the prize structure will be outlined in the invitation email and vary based on what survey you have been invited to.
For answers to common questions about these surveys, visit hwb.gatech.edu/surveys.