A new program designed to teach hope is now available to members of the Wolf Pack. The 10-week Hopeful Mindsets on the College Campus course accessible in WebCampus (details below) is built on the principle that hope is a “learnable, teachable and measurable skill and a known protective factor against anxiety and depression.”
This comes at a time when many are struggling with mental and emotional health, and students are certainly no exception. A recent JED Foundation survey found that 63% of college students report worse emotional health now than before the COVID-19 pandemic. The same study found 82% of students are dealing with anxiety, 68% with isolation and loneliness and 63% with depression and that 60% are having difficulty coping with stress in a healthy way.
“Hope is going to predict so many of your outcomes in college,” Hopeful Mindsets Creator Kathryn Goetzke says in the course introduction. “I’ve always been amazed that we have not been taught, ‘What is hopelessness, and how do you get from hopelessness to hope?’ Because hope predicts so much of what goes on with your life.”
The online course includes 10 lessons, approximately 30 minutes in length, aimed at teaching hope skills and how to incorporate them into daily life. Lessons include discussions of hope and the science behind each skill, presented by a host of experts, including the University’s own Steven Hayes, Nevada Foundation Professor in the behavior analysis program at the Department of Psychology. Hayes presents the concept of psychological flexibility.
“COVID was anything but fair,” Hayes wrote on the topic. “People with fewer means took on more of burden; people who have been on the receiving end of objectification and dehumanization took more of the punches. Still, after adjusting for that burden, some psychological approaches worked better than others. Large studies have now shown that deploying a set of social and mental processes called ‘psychological flexibility’ heavily influenced the impact of the pandemic.”
These and other skills are reviewed alongside insights from recent college graduates, videos, reflection exercises and suggested actions designed to help participants maintain and grow hope while dealing with the continued difficulties life during the pandemic presents. Coordinator of Recruitment and Retention at the Reynolds School of Journalism Paul Mitchell was thinking about the “physical, emotional, social and intellectual toll” taken by the last year and half when he came across the program and started work to bring it to the University.
“The colleges and universities that have a plan in place to assist students, faculty and staff as they deal with the mental and emotional stressors of the pandemic are the institutions that will thrive,” Mitchell said.
All members of the Wolf Pack are encouraged to enroll in the course through WebCampus using the instructions below:
- Log in to WebCampus.
- Once logged in, use this link to access the Hopeful Mindsets course.
- On the Self‐Enrollment Page, click the Enroll in Course button on the right.