Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 56.54
Liaison Elaine Durr
Submission Date Feb. 19, 2020

STARS v2.2

Elon University
IN-50: Innovation D

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Kelly Harer
Assistant Director of Sustainability for Education and Outreach
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
ABC Framework for a Mentally Healthy Elon

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

In August 2019, President Book announced that Elon University had adopted Act-Belong-Commit (ABC) as a framework to promote a campus-wide culture of holistic well-being and positive mental health, following a recommendation from the Student Wellness and Well-Being Workgroup. ABC, which was developed in Western Australia more than a decade ago and has since been implemented in countries around the world, helps to foster mentally healthy communities through three simple tenets:
•Act (do something): Keep active in as many ways as you can – physically, socially, mentally, culturally and spiritually;
•Belong (do something with somebody): Keep connected to friends and family, get involved in groups, join in local community activities;
•Commit (do something meaningful): Commit to a cause, become a volunteer, learn a new skill, take up a challenge.
Elon University is the first organization to implement the framework in the United States, and the first university in the world to independently adopt it as the framework for a campus-wide wellness initiative. Other universities have utilized the ABC framework as part of a national/provincial implementation. Most dimension-based models focus on defining wellness (physical, social, spiritual, etc.), but ABC is unique in that it is a behavior-focused model, putting the emphasis on behavior change and approach rather than a prescriptive “to-do list” approach to health and well-being.
Act-Belong-Commit provides an easy-to-understand framework to help students, as well as faculty and staff, engage in meaningful activities that keep them mentally healthy and set them up for success in and out of the classroom or office, while developing behaviors that will benefit them throughout their lives. The overall goal is improved wellness of students, faculty and staff. There are many metrics that can assess this, such as increased retention, belonging and community engagement; as well as decreased metrics of negative behavior (anxiety, depression, self-harm, etc.). An assessment developed by ABC has been given twice to the first-year class. In addition to using this data as a baseline, Elon is also utilizing the results to tweak the instrument to be more applicable/relevant for students.
During the fall 2019 semester, several events took place as part of the ABC framework, including a Mental Health Summit (open to students, faculty and staff) and training sessions for RAs and Campus Recreation and Wellness student employees. It was also incorporated into a new student orientation session. As part of this campus-wide initiative, Elon created a Council on Wellness and Well-Being, which includes a sub-committee focused on the rollout and implementation of the campus wellness model (ABC framework). Moving forward, Elon will develop institutional brands/marks for the campaign and additional training/informational sessions for students, faculty/staff, parents and alumni. More events will also be hosted to increase awareness of and participation in the framework. Elon is also sharing its experience with using the ABC framework with others, specifically through a poster presentation at the 2020 American College Sports Medicine national conference.


Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Wellbeing & Work

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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