New option for health requirement takes a closer look at mental wellness

Students practice yoga at the CRC. APPH 1060 will offer students a chance to study techniques for mental health. // Photo courtesy of Rachel Morochnik

According to a recent article from the Georgia Tech News Center, APPH 1060: Flourishing Strategies for Well-being and Resilience has been released for summer freshmen in the upcoming Summer 2021 semester and then for all students in the fall. The course has been piloted in previous semesters for the Honors Program.

Students across majors are currently required to take a health credit to graduate. APPH 1040 offers a more traditional classroom experience while APPH 1050 allows students to dedicate one day a week to a workout or activity within their schedule.

While both the traditional classroom-based or mixed classroom and activity courses at Tech include some aspects of mental health, APPH 1060 emphasizes mental health and wellness as central subjects of the course to better equip students for their academic and professional careers.

The professors leading the new course, Dr. Christie Stewart and Dr. Teresa Snow, shared some of their perspectives on what the course will entail.

Stewart has worked at Tech for over 14 years, acting as the former Assistant Director of Campus Recreation — G.I.T. FIT and the Associate Director for Healthy Lifestyle Programs before becoming an Academic Professional at the School of Biological Sciences.

For 16 years, Snow has been an Academic Professional for the School of Applied Physiology and became a Senior Academic Professional for the School of Biological Sciences almost four years ago.

The course was originally created by Stewart and Lesley Baradel, who work with the School of Biological Sciences, reflecting students’ opinions and needs in health courses that Tech offers.

APPH 1060 was designed to respond to the “consistent feedback that students wanted to spend more time in class on the topics of mental health, stress management and resilience,” Stewart said when commenting on the new course.

The course “serves an important need and will significantly contribute to the health and well-being of our campus,” Snow furthered.

While Tech requires a wellness course as a part of the core curriculum, the discussion of mental health and well-being extends beyond the classroom. Stewart and Snow hope that the course tenets will be translated into the lives — both academic and otherwise — of Tech students.

“How [students] think and feel about their lives is critical to their success at Georgia Tech and beyond, as they become leaders in society” said Snow on the importance of tackling mental health from an academic perspective.

Students who choose to take APPH 1060 for their health requirement will explore topics such as coping, resiliency, optimism, gratitude, mindfulness and emotional intelligence.

From creating goals and plans to participating in group work, APPH 1060 provides both the time and space for students to think about “how they are positively or negatively coping” and what are the next steps to “become more resilient,” according to Stewart. The APPH 1060 course will teach students how to better respond to their own stressors, even in the midst of Tech coursework.

When registering for summer or fall 2021 courses, find the APPH 1060: Flourishing: Strategies for Well-being and Resilience to learn more about mental health and wellness. At the time of publication, the summer 2021 APPH 1060 course has 50 seats remaining, and there are 29 seats remaining in the fall 2021 course.

For students looking for support resources, visit care.gatech.edu. If it is an emergency, please call GTPD at (404) 894-2500 or use the crisis hotlines and chats listed on the CARE website.