McWell: St.Liam's Hidden Gem

Have you ever been to the McDonald Center for Student Well-Being (also known as "McWell")? If you’ve never been or don’t know what exactly it is, read on!

McWell is located on the second floor of St.Liam's and was formerly known as the Office of Alcohol and Drug Education. It was endowed in 2014 by Notre Dame graduate, Mark Gallogly and his wife, Lise Strickler, in honor of their friend, Rev. James E. McDonald, C.S.C. With this revamp, the office expanded its focus to helping students foster a balance of the seven dimensions of wellbeing. The seven dimensions of wellbeing  include: physical, emotional, spiritual, occupational/financial, social, environmental and  intellectual.

Bridget Hoffmann, a Health Educator at McWell explained to me, “The McDonald Center for Student Well-Being 'McWell' is your go-to for all things wellness here at Notre Dame. We are here to make the healthier choice the easier choice as we work to help students thrive physically, emotionally and spiritually...We are also here to help keep you safe and reduce the risks that may come from drinking through harm reduction programming held within the residence halls.”

Last year, McWell led the popular Stress Free Fridays and Wellness Wednesdays events in addition to helping with Love Your Body Week, National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week and other events! This year, Bridget explained,  “McWell is excited to offer wellness enhancing initiatives throughout the school year, such as our Mindful Monday series, Free Berry Mondays,  bi-annual wellness expos, and our new cash cab and health hut programs. We are also here to help keep you safe and reduce the risks that may come from drinking through harm reduction programming held within the residence halls.”  

Free Berry Mondays?! Yes, you read that right! Every Monday you can head to McWell where you will find a refrigerator stocked full of strawberries. In addition, there is a Keurig available for student use. If you are looking for a new place to meet with study groups or clubs, the McWell Study room can be reserved here. If you want to get some exercise in while you study you can also stop in and use the treadmill work station.

The McWell staff can also host workshops for dorms or organizations focusing on topics such as alcohol education, mindfulness, sleep, nutrition or exercise. Workshops can be scheduled here. In addition to alcohol education workshops, the center holds alcohol screenings, small group alcohol education and will even provide mocktails prior to SYRs.

Do you want to get involved with this office?

If you have an interest in directly impacting the wellness initiatives that happen on campus, helping your peers lead healthy, balanced lives or  bring your own ideas on how to promote wellbeing on campus  to fruition you should consider joining the Thrive peer educator group!

I joined Thrive last year and have really enjoyed having an input into the health initiatives taking place on campus all while getting to know a great group of other students interested in promoting wellbeing.

Bri Prusakowski another member of Thrive told me, "I've enjoyed my work with McWell and Thrive because it gives me the opportunity to educate my peers about holistic wellness and also gives me a venue in which to examine my own personal health and wellness.  It is easy to ignore your health in college, and I'm glad we have a group that emphasizes the fundamental importance of enriching wellness in all areas of life!"

If this sounds like something you are interested in being a part of or just learning a bit more about Thrive email Bridget at [email protected]. Even if you don’t want to be involved with the group, be sure to keep an eye out for us on campus this year and stop by McWell to check out everything it has to offer!


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