Letters to the Editor

The UWT National College Health Assessment

Dear Editor, 

UW Tacoma Psychological and Wellness Services (PAWS) and Student Health are dedicated to supporting student’s health and well-being needs through evidence-based prevention and intervention initiatives that are in line with best practices such as 24/7 access to a variety of free safer sex supplies, services such as victim advocacy, mental health therapy, Student Health Services, and more. The UW Tacoma understands the direct impact that well-being can have on academic performance and success, and seeks to elevate current health resources and initiatives by implementing a student survey to obtain baseline data on our students’ specific health needs and concerns. 

PAWS is implementing the UW Tacoma National College Health Assessment (NCHA) this spring quarter. The NCHA is a confidential, nationally recognized research survey that assists the UW Tacoma in collecting precise data about our students’ unique health habits, behaviors, and perceptions. The survey is conducted by the American College Health Association on behalf of the UW Tacoma and asks a variety of health and well-being questions.

Institutions that assess student health and well-being needs through the NCHA data are able to better detect gaps in and enhance current campus services and resources, implement new and adjust current evidence-based and best practice programs, facilitate stronger campus partner connections and collaborations, and evaluate student well-being over time. UW Tacoma leadership, health professionals, faculty, and staff will use aggregate survey responses to inform decision making, policy and procedures, and the development of evidence-based health promotion and prevention initiatives.

By participating in the survey, students are actively contributing to the informed development of effective and comprehensive support networks on campus. 

The NCHA survey opens Monday, April 3rd, and can be completed any time in April. Students will receive an email to their UW inbox with the NCHA survey invitation and a unique, personal survey link. Click the unique link in the email body to participate in the survey. Students who complete the survey will be entered to win one of five pairs of Apple AirPods.

The survey is confidential and does not collect students’ names, email addresses, nor IP addresses with survey responses. This is done intentionally as the survey includes some questions around sensitive topics, such as substance use and mental health. Responses are in no way tied to any identifiable information about individual survey participants. 

Aggregate responses to sensitive questions like these will be used to inform necessary steps to support student safety and well-being, such as implementing a NARCAN initiative on campus. NARCAN, a life-saving medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, which was recently approved by the FDA to be available over the counter. Making NARCAN accessible on campus is a preventive measure that can save lives and promote a culture of care.

Students are encouraged to participate in the UWT NCHA by clicking on the unique survey invitation link sent to their UW email on Monday, April 3rd by the American College Health Association on behalf of the UW Tacoma. By taking a few moments to complete the survey, you will make a meaningful contribution to the enhancement of our campus environment and student well-being, as well as be entered to win a pair of Apple Airpods.

Visit tacoma.uw.edu/sh/ncha to learn more. Questions about the survey can be directed to the UW Tacoma Health Promotion Specialist, Madie Brown, MS, at madieb@uw.edu.