UW-Madison senior class office gifts Center for Healthy Minds

A research center on the UW-Madison campus left a lasting impact on the class of 2023, and four years later, the class is leaving a legacy.
Published: Apr. 12, 2023 at 6:31 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A research center on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus left a lasting impact on students, and the class of 2023 is leaving a legacy to recognize and support that center’s mission.

Each year, the students of the UW-Madison Senior Class Office choose a project or beneficiary of its senior class gift. The Center for Healthy Minds established a student-led organization, Healthy Minds on Campus, dedicated to improving the well-being of students at UW-Madison, and this year’s senior class wanted to highlight the organization’s commitment to mental health.

“In our experience, you know, familiarizing yourself and navigating independence and then the very fragile foundations you have for your future are just swept up from under you,” Senior Class President Liam McLean said about the COVID-19 pandemic. “So many people struggled with their mental health, and I think what’s so beautiful about our class experience is that we rebounded together.”

Director of Well-Being in Higher Education at Center for Healthy Minds Susan Huber said Healthy Minds on Campus evolved from a course they offer, ‘The Art and Science of Human Flourishing.’ Huber said the class is only offered to first-year students, and many of those students indicated they wanted support even after the semester ended.

“I think it’s really important signal, really, that we all have to listen to, and I think the support of students has to be a collective effort from many different parts of campus and our area of expertise is mental well-being and we have a lot of research that supports that,” Huber said. “We know these things really support well-being and so really teaching students, not just the academic part of this, but also how to integrate it into their lives and to help them develop practices.”

The class funds will directly benefit those involved with Healthy Minds on Campus and allow the organization to get more speakers and plan retreats and forums, Huber said.

McLean said he hopes the tribute will inspire future students to think critically about their mental health.

“What I hope comes out of their programming next year, is I hope that support becomes contagious,” he said. “I hope that someone brings a friend to one of those guest speaker events and that person needed to hear that message. I hope that more people discover and use and take advantage of this amazing resource, Center for Healthy Minds, and all they have to offer the Healthy Minds on Campus.”

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