Campus, News

Wellness wins: Upcoming health survey provides helpful data, prizes

Long Beach State students can help impact future wellness-based programs on campus while earning a chance at winning prizes by submitting this year’s National College Health Assessment (NCHA) survey by March 26.

The National College Health Assessment is a yearly survey that collects data on student health habits to determine common health risks that affect college campuses.

Survey results are collected anonymously and they include questions based on mental, sexual and physical health, in addition to safety, food insecurity, housing needs and substance use.

The assessment will be emailed to all currently enrolled Long Beach State students on March 3 and will take an average of 20 to 30 minutes to complete. Students who complete the 85-question survey will be entered in a drawing pool for a chance to win one of 30 Apple Airpods and 20 CSULB Bookstore gift cards worth $25 in value.

A screenshot of a National College Health Assessment flyer from CSULB's Student Health Services webpage.
A screenshot of a National College Health Assessment flyer from CSULB's Student Health Services webpage.

Heidi Girling, student health educator and Office of Wellness and Health Promotion coordinator, presented information to the Academic Senate during their Feb. 8 meeting. Girling said the NCHA survey will help CSULB officials understand student needs.

“We’re asking [faculty] to be our champions so that we can understand our students’ needs and how best to serve them so that they can obtain their academic success and also maybe their own personal wellness by providing the services that we do on campus.”

Girling said LBSU created programs to help students based on previous survey responses.

“During the pandemic…we saw in our survey that almost a quarter of our respondents had lost somebody to COVID. When I shared that information out, [our] director said let’s start a grief group,” Girling said.

When sharing key survey results from 2023, Girling said over 55% of Long Beach State students reported low or very low food security compared to 39% in 2021. A total of 81% of all survey respondents reported experiencing moderate or high stress at LBSU, 5% lower than respondents in 2021.

The health assessment results collected in 2023 also show that stress remains as one of the biggest negative impacts on student success. Stress was only behind procrastination with 54% of student respondents voting it as the most negative impact to their academic performance.

English professor Norbert Schürer said hiring more counselors, as requested by the California Faculty Association, could help improve the well-being of students at Long Beach State.

“One of our demands in negotiation was more counselors, which after seeing these sheets, it seems to be sort of a no-brainer,” Schürer said. “As you’re asking us to be your champions, I think we would ask you to be our champion in terms of joining us and demand for more counselors.”

When speaking to the audience about how and why the incentives were chosen, Girling said every college has different rules and regulations on monetary rewards for students.

“We specifically kept the incentives lower than the amount that would affect any financial aid or taxes. We all decide as a team what’s going to be appropriate,” Girling said. “I know that some campuses like San Francisco State give free tuition and parking passes. I don’t know how they do tuition, but [LBSU] can’t do that, it does not work.”

Schürer said giving out reward incentives to his students has previously caused problems when the monetary value of rewards reaches over a certain threshold amount. However, Schürer still plans on helping to make better incentives for students in the future.

“We have been told again and again these are Chancellor’s Office things and there’s nothing we can do on our campus, so that’s the part I’m going to focus on and make sure that really gets up and running,” Schürer said.

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