What We’re Learning
In 2017 and 2018, we conducted an evaluation of Be REAL in the UW residential halls. More than 200 students enrolled in the study. Results from this study showed that, compared to students who had not yet received the program (e.g., the waitlist control), students who participated in Be REAL improved significantly on a number of well-being measures, including:
- Enhanced attention focusing and inhibitory control (executive function)
- More effective coping, using more active coping, acceptance and reframing
- Increased self-compassion, mindfulness, resilience, and flourishing
- Greater social connectedness
- Lower perceptions of the stress
These positive changes were maintained three months after the program ended. Also, students were highly satisfied with the program: 98% of the students said the program was helpful to their well-being.
Offering well-being and prevention programs to students may help reduce the stress and mental health challenges that can arise during college. Programs combining mindfulness and self-compassion with cognitive-behavior skills may increase their resilience by strengthening key protective factors, such as executive function, effective coping, perception of stress and self-kindness.
Long, R., Halvorson, M., & Lengua, L. J. (2021). A mindfulness-based promotive coping program improves well-being in college undergraduates. Anxiety, Stress, & Coping, 1-14.
Long, R., Kennedy, M., Spink, K. M., & Lengua, L. J. (2021). Evaluation of the Implementation of a Well-being Promotion Program for College Students. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 12.
We are currently evaluating the implementation of Be REAL in a variety of campus settings. This includes being integrated into mandatory undergraduate seminars led by academic advisors, a course for credit, a course for students of color led by academic advisors, and through campus mental health clinics.
Interested in trying guided mindfulness practices? Check out our audio library.
Interested in bringing Be REAL to your students? Contact Sara McDermott, firstname.lastname@example.org