A maple tree's golden-yellow leaves color the landscape of Observatory Hill at the University of Wisconsin-Madison during an autumn sunset.



UWell is a University of Wisconsin-Madison collaborative effort to advance the well-being of the entire campus community. A distinguishing feature of UWell is the focus on policy, system, and environmental strategies that influence health and well-being outcomes for both students and employees.

Mission: To support, promote, and advance the well-being of the entire UW-Madison community, through strategic, collaborative and broad-reaching efforts that drive a culture and environment of wellness.

Vision: To be a driving force in incorporating wellness into the framework and values of the UW-Madison campus, improving the well-being of the campus community and beyond.

The UWell Partnership Council: University Health Services and the Office of Human Resources convene and provide backbone support to the UWell Partnership Council, creating infrastructure for a multidisciplinary group of stakeholders to come together around the UWell mission. Members represent a growing number of departments across UW-Madison committed to collaboration around a common agenda, shared measurement, continuous communication and aligned activities. The collective approach of the UWell Partnership Council ensures that no single department need to fully finance, own, or staff wellness initiatives in their entirety, and recognizes that multiple campus units possess the expertise and influence necessary to achieve desired outcomes.

Defining Well-being: UWell recognizes well-being as an active pursuit to understand and fulfill individual human needs, which allows people to flourish and realize their full potential. Every person has unique, fluid well-being aspirations, and successful initiatives require working towards positive, equitable outcomes for our campus community around seven intersecting elements of well-being.

  • HEALTH – feeling strength and energy from mind and body.
  • MEANING – knowing that what you do matters, having purpose in life.
  • SAFETY – safe from physical and psychological harm, feeling secure enough to take calculated risks and show vulnerability, meeting basic life needs.
  • CONNECTION – positive, trusting relationships, sense of belonging, acceptance and support.
  • ACHIEVEMENT – having support, resources, and autonomy to achieve goals.
  • GROWTH – progressing, learning and being challenged to use and expand strengths.
  • RESILIENCY – capacities for persistence, emotional intelligence, grit, cognitive flexibility, adapting to change, delaying gratification, learning from failure.

Models & Frameworks: Guided by best practices, the definition of well-being, campus data, emerging research, and the voices and experiences of stakeholders, UWell takes a population-level approach to enhancing policies, systems, and environments with the goal of creating conditions that are supportive of well-being and health equity. The strategic plan of UWell is informed by the socioecological model, which considers the complex interplay between individual, interpersonal, community, and societal factors, ensuring a holistic view of well-being.