Wellness 201:

Creating Champions for Wellness

Program Overview

Wellness 201: Creating Champions for Wellness is an abbreviated model of the Institute for Wellness Education’s comprehensive, school-wide wellness initiative, Wellness 501: Whole-School Wellness. Wellness 201 replicates the key features of the whole-school initiative on a smaller scale and gives schools an opportunity to evaluate the positive impact the program has on participants and the wider school community.

This initiative is novel because it harnesses the power of peers. First, it trains student leaders as peer coaches. Then, the coaches conduct group sessions with peers in their grade or students from other grades. The concept for using peers as coaches is well established in the professional literature. Peers have been shown to be as, or more effective than adults in engaging other students in activities that foster social-emotional learning, healthy decision-making, and self-care for teens with chronic conditions.



Address the Three Most Crucial Questions Your Students Have

The purpose of IWE’s wellness programming for teens is to help them address three fundamental questions at the heart of what are their most pressing, but often unspoken, concerns:

  1. Who am I?
  2. What am I going to do?
  3. Am I going to make it?

These questions are relevant to students, because their overall well-being and success depend on students knowing who they are, what they stand for, and how their actions affect their lives and futures. Students’ struggles with these questions are reflected in the common problems schools confront such as debilitating stress, perfectionism, cheating, bullying, incivility, and malicious gossip.

Peer-Wellness Groups Facilitate School Climate Change

Participants in the peer-led wellness groups use Interactive Journaling® as a tool for self-discovery and reflection, and to promote lasting behavior change. Learning is experiential, draws from students’ own lives, and encourages participants to put into immediate practice the lessons they’ve learned. Group sessions reinforce and build on students’ journaling experiences by giving them opportunities to discuss, rehearse, and role play new ways of thinking, feeling, and acting.

For Wellness 201, teachers act as facilitators to handle administrative tasks, support students, and ensure that the environment fosters supportive interactions among participants.

As many as 65 students can be cultivated as champions for wellness because Wellness 201 engages all participants, both student peer coaches and participants in a program that makes a difference in their lives and influences and inspires those around them.

NREPP-Certified Methods

IWE’s peer-coach training, peer-led wellness class, and professional development curricula, training methods, and outcomes measurement instruments are evidence-based, listed or adapted from programs in the US National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP).

How Is Student Achievement Recognized?

Recognition and celebration are key features of the program. Students earn certificates of completion and digital badges for their participation in either the coach training or the wellness course. Peer coaches become certified as wellness coaches through IWE, and may earn up to three units of college credit.

Program Components

Student Leaders: Wellness Coach Training

  • Licensing fees for a 36-hour online wellness coach training course (up to 15 student peer-coaches)
  • Hardcopy Interactive Journal®
  • Orientation webinar/teleconf (60 mins)
  • Peer-coach Facilitator Guide (downloadable pdf format)

Journal Club Participants: Materials 

  • Hard-copy interactive journal (up to 50 participants)
  • Tips for Teens (downloadable pdf format)

Teachers: Professional Development

  • 2-hour program orientation
  • 2-hour skills training for teacher-facilitators
  • 2-hour follow-up consultation and technical assistance
  • Tips Sheet (downloadable pdf format)

Outcomes Measurement

A. Wellness Coach Training Course

  • Coach skills assessment
  • Program evaluation

B. Wellness Class/Club

  • Fidelity monitoring
  • Program evaluation


Peer Coach Training Curriculum

Module 1:

What Is Wellness and Why Now?

Module 2:

What Is Wellness Coaching and How Does It Work?
The Science of Change and Power of Mindset
Basic Coaching Skills: Active Listening

Module 3:

Finding and Using Credible Data to Support Coaching Practice

Module 4:

Physical, Nutritional, Medical and Dental Wellness
Stages of Change
Strategies for Change

Module 5:

Social, Environmental, and Spiritual Wellness
Six Sources of Influence

Module 6:

Behavioral/Intellectual and Psychological/Emotional Wellness

Module 7:

Occupational and Financial Wellness

Module 8:

Putting It All Together to Lead Wellness Groups with Interactive Journaling

Journal Club Participant Curriculum
  1. Making sense of thoughts and feelings
  2. Living by values that count
  3. Creating healthy relationships
  4. Setting goals and reaching them