New SJSU iSchool Health and Wellness Initiative
Published: March 13, 2023 by Loida Garcia-Febo, Health and Wellness Ambassador
The World Health Organization defines well-being as a positive state experienced by individuals and societies. Similar to health, it is a resource for daily life and is determined by social, economic, and environmental conditions. Furthermore, the WHO indicates that supporting mental health and the state of well-being is crucial for individuals, communities, and societies.
Covid-19, wars, climate change, and different crises are causing shifts causing uncertain times and unsettled lives. All those impact aspects of wellness in our lives and workplaces such as the eight dimensions of wellness in the ALA-APA Wellness page: emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, spiritual, and social. Additionally, fair working conditions and salary equity are part of the overall wellness of librarians and info pros.
For years I’ve called librarians to immerse themselves in wellness. Now, I am ecstatic to collaborate with the iSchool Director, Dr. Anthony Chow, the faculty, and staff members to develop a variety of resources to support mental health and wellness. These go along nicely with existing resources for students and faculty. Therefore, the collaboration with the iSchool represents a concerted action to develop a suite of resources that will equip students, new librarians and the extended iSchool community with tools to live their best life.
Given that the United Nations Human Development Report 2021-2022 revealed that humans live in a world of worry, to paraphrase Lizzo, it is about time that librarians included health and wellness in their LIS initiatives.
What to Expect
My goal is to share information following tracks such as Health, Wellness, and Strategies & Policies. I will communicate through videos, blogs including resources, and links to tips, research, and publications from renowned organizations. I am bringing my humor and positivism. I am seeking to share tools to help understand how to achieve wellness. I will also answer questions through a new Ask Loida section open to everyone. All these different pieces will be housed in the iSchool’s iLibrary.
I am looking forward to bringing events to engage the iSchool community featuring formats from Movie Forums and World Café to webinars. For instance, we are observing Earth Day in April and Global Wellness Day in June. Stay tuned for more information.
I believe it is crucial to be where the students are. Therefore, I am collaborating with different teams within the iSchool to bring wellness messages to social media and the YouTube channel. I invite you all to follow the iSchool on the various social media platforms for weekly wellness tips and celebration of librarians and info pros. This month, we are all about celebrating women which make up close to 80% of the library workforce.
Health, Wellness, Strategies and Policies
We are all different and understanding how to connect with others, as outlined by Brene Brown, can make things better.
This week if anxiety creeps in, follow this exercise to ground yourself:
Lastly, while it is fundamental to understand how to bring health and wellness strategies into our lives, it is also important to understand that without policies and strategies to support workers, we cannot have wellness. For instance, the office of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has revealed that a significant number of people in the workforce are experiencing long-covid. Therefore, it is sensible to reflect on how we can support colleagues in that situation for them to experience quality of life, not be out of work, and be able to make a living as it is the right of every human being. This is one of the areas I will unpack in future blogs.
As you can see, health and wellness strategies and policies are interlinked. Stay tuned for a new blog with videos and information.
I look forward to hearing from you. Which topics would you like to see in the health and wellness blog? Each month I will answer some questions on the SJSU iSchool LinkedIn account @sjsu-ischool. Also, feel free to send questions about health and wellness to me for inclusion on the new Ask Loida section using this form.
And remember, as Lizzo sings, in case nobody told you today, you are special.