Supporting and improving the well-being of our people, places and planet

The University of Michigan Well-being Collective is an interdisciplinary group of students, staff, and faculty who have been brought together from across campus to support and implement our commitment to improving the well-being of our people, places and planet.

We aspire to make U-M a health-promoting university and global leader in championing the well-being of students, faculty, staff and community. We’re developing a holistic, campuswide approach, recognizing diversity of identity and prioritizing resilience and sustainability as central to the health and well-being of the U-M community. 

We understand that mental health and well-being are not simply matters of individual experience, but a state connected to one’s environment, as well as social and policy factors. This effort cannot be accomplished by a single unit or department alone. It must be something we create collectively as a community, with everyone contributing to making U-M a better place to live, work and learn.

We are implementing our work through the collective impact approach:

  • Collective impact describes an intentional way of working together and sharing information for the purpose of solving a complex problem / challenge
  • Collective impact is more likely to solve complex problems than if a single entity were to approach the same problem(s) / challenges on its own
  • Collective impact centers equity and inclusion in making sustainable change

Well-being Collective Guiding Principles

The Well-being Collective Steering Committee engaged in a vigorous, deliberative exercise during the Fall 2022 and Winter 2023 semester to identify and affirm the Guiding Principles for the Well-being Collective.  Guiding Principles are agreed upon values that guide the Well-being Collective in laying out the rest of the common agenda, making decisions, and how the Well-being Collective is going to work together overall.  The Guiding Principles were informed by advice and perspectives from the Well-being Collective Advisory Council and the Student Well-being Network.  The overall goal of the Collective is to develop system and policy recommendations in an effort to become a health promoting institution by fulfilling Okanagan Charter.

The Guiding Principles for the work of the Well-being Collective are as follows:

Transparency & Accountability

  • Ensuring intentional, regular communication across the Well-being Collective infrastructure as well as to U-M faculty, students, and staff and the wider community
  • Providing thoughtful, meaningful, timely, and relevant updates
  • Tracking and communicating progress, including updates, successes, and failures
  • Proactively engaging community stakeholders to create recommendations that meet the evolving needs of the community

Collaboration & Cooperation

  • Modeling a culture of institutional and individual humility to promote openness, curiosity, and a willingness to learn from others
  • Working proactively across organizational structures, silos, and historical responsibilities to foster collaboration
  • Leveraging, elevating and sharing existing capabilities and programs and integrating the range of disconnected resources that already exist

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

  • Building health promoting structures and systems that are available to all and strive to be representative of the needs of a diverse community
  • Showing compassion and courage, so that people feel safe enough to voice their unique perspectives and be vulnerable
  • Responding to the sharing of varying life experiences with affirmation, empathy, kindness, and care

Land Acknowledgement

The University of Michigan is located on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe people. In 1817, the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Bodewadami Nations made the largest single land transfer to the University of Michigan. This was offered ceremonially as a gift through the Treaty at the Foot of the Rapids so that their children could be educated. Through these words of acknowledgment, their contemporary and ancestral ties to the land and their contributions to the University are renewed and reaffirmed.