What is a Healthy Campus Community?

A Healthy Campus Community is one where the people, processes and spaces contribute to well-being and success for all. It is the words people speak; decisions that are made; actions that are taken, and the culture and systems that are created.

This model was created by SFU Health Promotion through a process of literature review and consultation.


To engage and enable staff, faculty, students, administrators and community partners to work collectively towards creating campus conditions that enhance well-being and success for all.  This can be achieved through: learning and working environments, campus policies, personal growth and development, services and supports, physical spaces, and opportunities for social interaction and community engagement.

Background and Rationale

SFU’s Healthy Campus Community (HCC) initiative was launched in 2010 with the intention of taking a systemic, campus-wide approach to create conditions that enhance health and well-being. It represents a strategic shift in how health promotion is practiced at SFU. It is based on the World Health Organization (WHO) Healthy University Framework which involves working collaboratively to create campus environments that positively influence the health and well-being of students, staff and faculty.  For more information, see Rationale and Background on SFU’s Healthy Campus Community Initiative

Why is Creating a Healthy Campus Community Important?

Post-secondary institutions are increasingly expected to provide students with the experiences and skills they need to succeed in a complex and ever-changing world. This means fostering students who are not just educated, but are resilient, creative, collaborative and engaged citizens. Health and well-being are essential for student success, engagement and retention and as such, are integral to the core business of SFU.  The potential positive impacts for all staff, students and faculty include:

  • Improved health and well-being
  • Enhanced learning
  • Success and achievement
  • Collaborative citizens
  • Professional development

What Do We Mean by Health and Well-being?

Health is viewed as a “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease” (WHO, 2010). Health and well-being are resources that enable individuals to thrive and reach their full potential.

Strategic Alignment

This innovative approach to Health Promotion supports SFU’s strategic vision as an Engaged University that connects students, research and community and is aligned with the Academic Plan.

This Healthy Campus Community initiative coincides with other provincial and national initiatives to enhance well-being in post-secondary institutions. For information please see the Healthy Minds Healthy Campuses initiative.


SFU’s Health Promotion team is working to:

  • Increase institutional awareness and understanding relating to student well-being 
  • Engage diverse institutional stakeholders, including administrators, instructors, students, staff, and community partners
  • Facilitate action, increase capacity and work collectively to improve campus conditions that impact well-being
  • Apply health promotion expertise and a health promotion lens to campus activities and systems that impact well-being
  • Evaluate progress and impact and contribute to knowledge-sharing and evidence-base in the field

The following report summarizes the activities underway within SFU’s Healthy Campus Community Initiative

Milestones in the Development of the Healthy Campus Community Initiative at SFU


Evaluation of this work is being conducted using a developmental evaluation framework. Qualitative and quantitative progress markers are being collected including student health data and indicators from other institutional surveys. Two questions related to the healthy campus community work were added to SFU’s Undergraduate Student Survey in 2013.