Lakeland News Posting

Rise and thrive grant leads to wellness initiative at Lakeland

Posted: August 25, 2022 | Updated: September 6, 2022

Lakeland Community College recently received a Rise and Thrive grant awarded by the State of Ohio through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund. With the funds, Dr. Ken Browner, psychologist in Lakeland’s Counseling and Advising Center, worked with Lakeland’s Mental Health Task Force to create an expansive program called Wellness at Lakeland.

Throughout the process of designing the program, Lakeland worked closely with its community partner for the project, the Lake County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board. The program is designed to promote and enhance physical, emotional, financial, relationship and mental wellness for Lakeland’s students.

“Throughout the pandemic, I think we have learned that mental health is not just a concern for certain people who have serious depression, anxiety or other diagnoses, said Dr. Browner.” “Rather, we all need to devote attention to our wellness and self-care. Lakeland offers a range of resources that contribute to student wellness, whether through the Athletic Fitness Center, Lakeland Cares Cupboard, HIVE makerspace, academic offerings, counseling, or our many other student support offices. This grant gave us the opportunity to build on our strengths while adding capacity and building awareness of Wellness at Lakeland.”


Student Engagement

  • Student Wellness Challenge – Students participate by completing an online wellness interest form, or posting pictures of themselves engaging in wellness activities on or off campus. The challenge runs through Sept. 16, 2022, and they can enter for the chance to win a Fitbit®, Apple AirPods® or a Yeti® water bottle, awarded by random selection.
  • Student Wellness Ambassadors Students have been hired with funds from the grant to promote wellness, staff the new Wellness Zones, and connect with students who have submitted a wellness interest form.
  • Stress Relief Kits – Kits purchased in part by grant funds are being distributed by the Lakeland’s Library during midterms and finals each semester.

Resource Enhancement

  • Wellness Zones – These are designated areas of the college where students can find a quiet space to relax, unwind or check out an iPad® loaded with mental wellness and meditation apps. Indoor relaxation zones are found in the library and in the former reception area of Lakeland’s Counseling and Advising Center. Outdoor relaxation zones are located in the courtyard and next to the “Mindladders” sculpture outside of Lakeland’s Breakers Dining Room.

Curriculum Development

  • Skills for Self-Care and Resilience – A new one credit-hour course was developed by Lakeland’s Counseling and Advising Center that helps students implement strategies for self-care, mental health and perseverance. The class was offered tuition-free for students enrolled during the 2022 summer session and is again on the schedule for this fall semester.
  • The Wellness Course Menu – This brochure offers an extensive list of Lakeland classes that include elements for emotional and mental wellness, financial wellness, intellectual and creative wellness, nutritional wellness, occupational and social wellness and physical wellness.

Wellness for Employees

Lakeland’s Wellness Committee and Human Resources Department offer programming and resources for employee wellness, including annual Wellness Days; the Lakeland Health Clinic operated by University Hospitals; and 24/7 access to the IMPACT employee assistance program via telephone, mobile app with chat functionality; and Lakeland’s web portal. The Rise and Thrive initiative has sparked ongoing discussion about ways to build on and mirror the newer student-focused projects with additional resources and opportunities for employee wellness, including a dedicated employee health and wellness channel on Lakeland’s myLakeland portal.

Future plans

While the grant provides temporary funding for the wellness initiative, Dr. Browner and the Mental Health Task Force plan to incorporate wellness and self-care into future offerings, with the understanding that healthy life skills can influence the success of students both in the academic realm and beyond their time at Lakeland.

Related Links:

  • Lakeland's Wellness Program
  • By: Dr. Ken Browner

    Media Contact:
    Kerry Jonke