Students support students through Ohio State’s wellness coaching

The Lantern
“Be Well and Thrive” wall message located inside the Student Wellness Center at Ohio State. Credit: Abby Ditmer | Lantern Reporter

To manage stress, balance relationships or improve overall well-being, students can talk with those with similar experiences, such as the wellness coaches at the Student Wellness Center.

Wellness coaching offers several different dimensions of coaching: career, creative, digital, emotional, environmental, spiritual, social, physical, intellectual and financial wellness, to wellness coach Kate Burke, a third-year in health promotion, nutrition and exercise science, said. The wellness coaching staff consists of graduate and undergraduate students who have trained through the Student Wellness Center.

Wellness coordinator and coach Rachel Mangold oversees the wellness coaching service and trains coaches, sometimes also coaching students herself, according to the Ohio State Student Wellness Center website . Mangold said she is committed to providing a comfortable, inclusive and compassionate environment for clients and coaches.

“A few benefits that students can get from using wellness coaching are accountability and support. We do a good job of educating our coaches on everything that’s going on around the university,” Mangold said. “It’s a good way to get some validation as well. School is hard, so it’s nice having that peer-to-peer support.”

Whether students live out of state or don’t have a strong support system, wellness coaching is a way to get validation for whatever someone is going through, Mangold said. Wellness coaches can provide referrals as well as resources with which students may not be familiar.

Burke said she enjoys meeting new people and forming relationships with her peers and saw wellness coaching as the perfect outlet for her passion for meeting and forming relationships with new people.

“We’re just here to have a conversation, and I’m here to offer resources and see if I have anything that could help you and help your situation,” Burke said. “We can just talk through what’s going on.”

To schedule an appointment with a wellness coach, students can use the scheduling link through the wellness coaching option on the Student Wellness Center website. From there, students can select whether they’d like to participate in individual or group coaching and choose a coach.

Students will complete a brief wellness assessment to help the coaches figure out which dimension of wellness to focus on, wellness coach Jacob Roose, a third-year in neuroscience, said.

“There’s kind of a stigma against reaching out and getting help. I think it’s really important to reach out to break that stigma. If you ask me, it shows strength and bravery to reach out and get help when you know you need it,” Roose said. “One of the nice things about wellness coaching is it’s easy to schedule an appointment, and it’s relatively quick if you need an appointment.”

Roose said having a peer to discuss your well-being with is just as important as having a professional counselor or therapist. The coaching sessions are meant to feel like you’re talking to a friend, he said.

“It’s really nice to have the option just to talk to peers because a lot of the time it’s a lot easier for us to relate to each other because we’re going through a lot of the same things,” Roose said.

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