After a successful soft launch earlier this summer, Florida State University fully rolled out its Student Resilience Project this fall, including more interactive videos, audios and resources for all FSU students.
The “Student Resilience Project” is an online, evidence-informed toolkit developed by the Institute for Family Violence Studies at the FSU College of Social Work. The project encourages wellness by helping students learn to manage stress in healthy ways and increase their sense of belonging.
“The summer rollout was geared toward students who were living on campus for the first time,” said Karen Oehme, institute director. “The site is now much more comprehensive. It starts out with videos that deal with the impact of trauma and the components of resilience, setting a framework for all students to understand what FSU is trying to do.”
In a 2017 report by FSU’s Healthy Campus initiative, students reported that the top three impediments to their academic success were stress, anxiety and sleep problems. The Student Resilience Project addresses those issues and more by providing tips on stress management and reducing anxiety as well as audio recordings on relaxation and better sleep.
Each audio recording and video also comes with complete transcripts for the hearing impaired, ensuring that project resources are completely inclusive and accessible. The recordings are provided by expert faculty from across the university under the heading “Real Talk” and discuss topics such as grief, loss and depression.
“Students can listen to these audio recordings while they are walking around campus or listen in the privacy of their own residence halls or apartments,” Oehme said. “They can pick and choose what they want to learn more about.”
After this summer’s soft launch, Oehme said she and her team received remarkable feedback from students and faculty alike. They even received phone calls and email inquiries about the project from around the United States and as far as England and Scotland. Oehme will present a free webinar in November that will explore opportunities for other institutions to collaborate or adapt the FSU materials for other audiences.
Project creators said they also plan to expand the toolkit to address specific issues that graduate and international students face. They said the FSU Student Resilience Project will continue to evolve as students provide feedback and they analyze program implementation.
The project design was heavily influenced by FSU students. Jim Clark, dean of the College of Social Work, said he loves the project because it’s so positive and demonstrates the creativity and high degree of compassion students have for each other.
The institute has partnered with Professor Laura Arpan with the College of Communication and Information to perform the program evaluation.
“We would deem the project a success if students who are mandated to complete the program, as well as students across campus come back to use it again and again,” Clark said. “Other signs that will demonstrate the project’s effectiveness will be survey responses where students indicate that it was helpful, that they enjoyed using it, that they recommended it to others and were actually able to use the resources provided in their own lives.”
Oehme said it’s been remarkable to see how her campus partners have rallied around this project.
“At FSU we have some of the most talented, engaging and caring faculty who are very excited about this project,” she said. “It’s been inspiring to hear from these campus rock stars who know that they can’t teach every single student on campus but have good stuff to share. They’ve reached out to us during the design phase to ensure that this project is well-rounded and filled with lots of valuable content so students really understand that FSU cares about them.”
For more information, visit http://strong.fsu.edu.