A Healthy Heel is a member of the UNC-Chapel Hill community who strives to make decisions to move closer to health and wellness. In other words, all Tar Heels are Healthy Heels because we all make decisions every day that impact our own wellness and the health of the UNC community.
The Healthy Heels Philosophy
We believe that:
- Health and wellness are inextricably intertwined. We use the terms interchangeably, even though we could tease out specific and unique definitions for each of them. The short definition? Health and wellness are the journey that individuals and communities take in an effort reach their potential, be well and thrive.
- Everyone has the right to health. Again, we define health as the right for people to reach their fullest potential, be well and thrive. In order for that to happen, we must remember that everyone is different – with diverse identities, abilities, experiences, finances, circumstances, cultures and philosophies. We aim to provide spaces (like this one!) for raising awareness and creating dialogue around issues of health, wellness and equity. One way we do this is by owning our social location and identity and doing our best to consider all people’s identities in our work.
- Wellness and health are influenced immensely by our community and environment. That’s why we consider all levels of the socio-ecological model (Check out the link to learn more about the model and what it means to take an “environmental approach to health”). We collaborate with UNC students, campus offices and folks in the community because we all play a role in the health of our community. We don’t just ask people to change their individual behavior; we also seek to make it easier for individuals to make healthy choices by changing the environment where we live, play and study.
- Wellness is holistic. By that we mean, for example, that we can’t talk about alcohol without also talking about stress and relationships. This is one reason why our blog is categorized into holistic categories: Learn, Love, Play, Prevent, Thrive, Engage. We also have a category of Events because we like to connect you to fun, health-supportive activities happening on campus and around town.
- Health goals vary by individual. We will support the ways you already maintain wellness, and we will offer ideas for new habits that you can consider. We focus on a range of wellness topics so you can find information and activities to meet your goals while at UNC and beyond. What works for one person might not work for another.
- Health is related to your academic goals. We work for a university, meaning we are focusing on the health of students and post-doctoral fellows. Research has found that healthy students are more successful inside and outside of the classroom. In other words, students who are striving towards wellness tend to get better grades and jobs they find fulfilling.
- Research can help us be healthier. We will connect you with relevant scientific literature that can help you reach your health goals (Seriously! We even have sources that aren’t HuffPo!). While we focus on many topics, the following approaches are research-informed strategies to improve community health:
- Health comes in every size. We are all on our journey toward wellness. All bodies have the capacity for health no matter their size. Trust us, there is no one perfect body.
- Sexuality is a normal and healthy part of life. We want students to make informed decisions about their own sexual health, which is why we provide accurate, honest and easy-to-understand sexual health information and services.
- Violence takes many forms and can be hard to recognize. We help Healthy Heels understand the contexts and many factors that allow violence to occur. We focus on the ways all of us can influence changes in the culture around us, including systems of power and oppression that contribute to violence. We believe everyone has a role to play in violence prevention.
- Wellness is a journey, not an outcome. Living a healthier life takes effort. As mentioned above, we face choices every day that affect our own and our community’s health and wellness. That daily effort is worth it.
- Health and wellness can be amplified with good services. We provide a wide range of health care, mental health, and wellness promotion services that can support you while you’re at UNC. Many of our services have already been paid for in your Campus Health Fee. Never delay a visit to us if you’re in need – we’re here to help.
Here is where we need your help.
You are a critical part of the health and wellness landscape at UNC.
Help us find areas where you notice we could be doing better—we want your feedback!.
Suggest articles we should be writing! What do you want to learn more about?
Get involved with health and wellness initiatives on campus.
Connect with us on the blog or on one of our many social media platforms.
For more about the Healthy Heels blog, including who writes our content and those lovely legal disclaimers, visit the about us section.