Preparations underway for the Year of Emotional Well-Being

By Elizabeth Primrose, Staff Writer

Provost Ann Cudd announced the Year of Emotional Well-Being as the focus of the 2022-2023 “Year of…” initiative on April 28.

“The choice of this theme offers an opportunity to engage collectively with a focus on restoring and enhancing our emotional well-being,” Cudd said in her announcement. “The pandemic certainly has underscored the importance of fully supporting the emotional welfare of students, faculty and staff as everyone navigates the new terrain.”

Cudd asked Jay Darr, associate dean of students for wellness, and Jamie Zelazny, an assistant professor of nursing and psychiatry, to lead efforts around the Year of Emotional Well-Being. According to Zelazny, she and Darr will form a committee of faculty, staff and students from the Oakland campus and each of the regional campuses in the coming months that will help with planning for the year.

“This is an enormously important and needed initiative,” Zelazny said. “We hope to engage the student body in all aspects of the Year of Emotional Wellbeing, starting with the planning phase.”

While planning is still in its early stages, Zelazny said she and Darr plan to host a kick-off event in October, which is also Mental Health Awareness Month at Pitt.

A spokesperson for Darr said he is “honored and excited” about serving as a co-chair for the Year of Emotional Well-Being initiative. 

Zelazny said she is eager to highlight the importance of emotional well-being across campus by leading the Year of Emotional Well-Being programs.

“I am excited about the events and speakers that will be offered by the Committee,” Zelazny said. “But I think I am most excited about the variety of ideas for promoting emotional wellbeing we will get from the campus community through the funding opportunities.” 

As with previous “Year of…” initiatives, the Office of the Provost will provide matching funding to support projects and events related to the theme. Zelazny said these funding opportunities have the potential to benefit students, faculty and staff.

Zelazny said she looks forward to sharing more information about the Year of Emotional Well-Being after the committee has planned more events for the upcoming year.