Drew University Students Get RADical Help in Transition to College

RADical Health program builds resiliency, coping skills

September 2021 – Drew University is partnering with RADical Hope to offer a four-week wellness transition program as part of New Student Orientation this month.

The wellness program, RADical Health, helps students learn and develop coping and resiliency skills to handle the stressors of college life, and identify problems before reaching a crisis point.

Originally recommended to Drew by trustee Jennifer Velez C’87, the initiative was started as a way to address the National Alliance on Mental Illness’ finding that 64 percent of students who drop out of college do so because of mental health issues.


First-year students pose with Ranger Bear during Orientation.

Drew first-year students are meeting in their orientation groups once a week throughout the month to discuss each week’s topic, which include connectivity, engagement, emotional intelligence, and empowerment. Students have access to RADical Health’s portal of inspirational interviews and interactive resources addressing each theme.

The program will supplement the efforts of Drew’s Center for Academic Excellence and Campus Life & Student Affairs office who are actively engaged in supporting student transition to college, a form of support instrumental to student success and college persistence.

“Providing our students with resources to strengthen their resiliency skills and support their overall wellbeing is critical, especially for our first-year students experiencing the stressful transition to college,” said Megan McHugh, director of University events.

“It felt especially appropriate to implement this program for this specific group of students who are starting their college experience after a yer and a half of living and learning through the pandemic. We hope the students walk away from these four weeks with a personal wellness plan, a better understanding of their campus resources, and stronger connections with their peers on campus.”

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