Functioning Well


This topic discusses what it means to be functioning well in life and the misconceptions behind that idea.

Often there is this norm of what it means to ‘function well’ and being unwell is seen as a fault of your motivations/personality. What expectations does academia set around the concept of ‘functioning well’? Is there always something else going on behind that missed deadline, that skipped class? Does higher education support the mental wellbeing of staff and students or is it lacking?

Facilitation Notes

Discussion Questions

  • Should universities teach students to understand and maintain their mental wellbeing?
  • Is there something intrinsically wrong that we measure someone to be functioning well if they are succeeding academically/professionally? 
  • Are the cultures in academia/student life unhealthy for mental wellbeing?
  • Does positivity help or hinder mental wellbeing? Is it just a personal preference?
  • If universities are harmful to mental wellbeing, what would need to change to make them better places for all?

Resource Personalisation

Feel free to add any materials about wellbeing and mental health in your university. For example:

  • Look up your university’s mental health and wellbeing initiatives 
  • Where can students/staff turn to in your university for mental health support?
  • Barriers some students/staff might face to accessing wellbeing support

Culture Club.