Aalto University: BeWell-project expands to support student wellbeing

The corona pandemic has brought forward challenges in mental health among the students more than before. The significance of the university community is central when it comes to the wellbeing of its students. This is why Aalto University Business Students (KY) and Aalto University School of Business are making a joint effort to improve student wellbeing and are expanding the BeWell project by hiring a part-time project coordinator.

‘BeWell was created to fulfill a real purpose. In the beginning of the project we have had the chance to collect data and practical tips on the support services provided by the Aalto community. Now we are raising the level of ambition and goal-orientation’, says KY’s Chair of the Board Niko Ylä-Poikelus.

Aalto University School of Business has picked the wellbeing of the community as one of the key initiatives in its strategy. Dean of School of Business Timo Korkeamäki is happy that the cooperation between the School of Business and the student community is brought to another level.

‘Wellbeing is a crucial part of any community, but it is emphasized in the pressure of the academic world. The BeWell-project hopefully results in finding new means in advancing students’ mental health skills’, says Korkeamäki.

The collaborative project aims to utilize resources better
Helmi Nuortimo, a member of the KY Board, has been a part of BeWell since the launch of the project. An essential part of the project has been recruiting wellbeing tutors from the student body. These wellbeing tutors have been trained in Mental Health First Aid in order to provide support to their peers regarding studies, finding new like-minded friends and not being too hard on yourself, just to name a few.

‘The objective of the BeWell project is to prevent and relieve the culture of staying silent and to provide a supportive network through which students can get help with the challenges that come along with student life’, Nuortimo summarizes.

Student wellbeing has been on display in Aalto University for a long time already. With the help of an AllWell? questionnaire university has systematically collected data on study ability. The conceptual model divides study ability into student’s own resources, study skills and motivation, teaching and study environment (Kunttu, 2005). The BeWell project focuses on the resources.

‘The BeWell project aims to develop well-being through unifying resources and areas of expertise of the School of Business and those of KY. We want to consider a student’s life as an entity, in which wellbeing is affected by many aspects of life. The new project coordinator will be a central part of this collaborative project between the School of Business and KY’, the Manager of Academic Affairs at Aalto University School of Business, Pia Lahti explains.

The expansion of BeWell has been executed by a Project Coordinator being recruited to work as a part of the KY office. The project is set to advance in November and will last for a term of two years.

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