Health & Wellness

What Is Wellness?

The World Health Organization defined health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” The National Wellness Institute defines “wellness as an active process of becoming aware of and making choices towards a more successful existence.” The State University of New York at Buffalo lists two important elements of wellness – balance and being proactive.

At UCSB, the term “wellness” describes a three-tiered approach to student services. This approach supports healthier learning environments through the provision of services that treat illness/ injury (Tier 1), promote health (Tier 2) and the pursuit of flourishing (Tier 3). The UCSB Wellness Collaborative emphasizes the third tier. Its goal is to encourage all students to flourish at UCSB through positive engagement. This goal is met by connecting students to strength-based campus and community resources and opportunities.

Strength-based campus and community resources offer students the opportunity to engage in activities that encourage them to be:

  • BALANCED: Giving the physical, mental, and social dimensions of one’s life significant attention has clear health and academic benefits.
  • PROACTIVE: Intentional activities are well documented to be the most promising determinant of long-term happiness.
  • POSITIVE: Positive Psychology provides a research base for the pursuit of flourishing via three routes to happiness:
    • Pleasures: Increase positive emotions through forgiveness, savoring, and hope.
    • Enjoyments: Use one’s strengths to pursue “flow” activities that often result in heightened states of awareness, confidence and performance.
    • Meaning: Use one’s strengths to join others in community contribution.

Representatives from 18+ campus departments collaborate to provide wellness services to UCSB students described on the About Us page.

For more information regarding Positive Psychology and the science of well-being, see:

Parents Weekend Presentation

Please download and view our Power Point presentation for Parent's Weekend

Please download and view our Power Point presentation for Parent's Weekend

Contact us at