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"Creating an environment in which all can realize their potential“

10 May 2021

This time round, Diversity Month at LMU focuses on health: An interview with Prof. Dr. Francesca Biagini on the "WeCare@LMU" initiative.

The central theme of Diversity Month this year is "A Healthy University". Why is this topic so important in a university context?

Francesca Biagini: Thanks to their diverse ideas and points of view, the members of the LMU community contribute to the excellence of teaching and research at LMU every day. That's why LMU endeavors to create an environment in which all of them can realize their potential - not in spite of, but because of the fact that the University's members come from diverse and unique backgrounds and life-worlds.

Health and wellbeing are important preconditions for achievement, social participation, and the ability to develop one's individual talents. This explains why, in addition to the classical dimensions of family, gender, inclusion, social integration and cultural variety, diversity management at LMU encompasses a focus on health maintenance.

How does this foster the creation of an atmosphere of inclusive togetherness?

Wellbeing and a healthy balance between work and leisure are indispensable elements of an inclusive environment. Moreover, as the boundaries between professional and private life have become more porous during the current pandemic, the need to maintain a sensible work-life balance has become even more urgent than before. A reasonable work-life or study-life balance, together with sport and psychological support from one's circle of friends, have a positive influence on our mental and physical health balance and contribute to one's capacity for personal development.

Furthermore, the ability to achieve a sustainable balance between the demands of professional and private obligations also fosters open-mindedness - and that in turn is a basic prerequisite not only for excellence in research, teaching and modern administration, but also for inclusiveness and an appreciation of human diversity.

What can participants look forward to during Diversity Month?

Under the motto "WeCare@LMU“, more than 70 virtual events and activities relating to health issues are planned for the period between 18. May and 30. June 2021, and I take this opportunity to cordially invite LMU's students and its staff to take part in what is on offer in the course of these 6 weeks. The program ranges from Health Lectures on current topics in medicine to courses on sports and fitness that enable participants to forget their everyday cares and stresses for a while. Indeed, I think it offers something for everyone. In addition, the program will highlight LMU's many counseling services, all of which are available to students and staff in need of their advice.

And here, on behalf of the University's Executive Board, I would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude to all participants for their individual contributions to the events taking place during Diversity Month!

One of the main themes on the program concerns work-life balance and study-life balance - how does LMU help its staff and students in this respect?

To help staff and students to look after their health and enhance their wellbeing, LMU began some considerable time ago to devote the necessary extra resources to these areas. The steps taken covered physical and psychological health, disease prevention including addictive disorders, and set up programs designed to stimulate physical exercise and encourage healthy eating habits, and provide assistance in coping with stress and mitigating drug addiction.

Students and employees have access to a wide range of counseling services. We have compiled an overview of all contact points on the page of the Central Diversity Management.

Has the coronavirus pandemic played a role in the choice of topics featured in this year's Diversity-Month?

We have now been caught up for over a year in a pandemic that has exposed us to unusual and often severe physical and psychological stresses. Students and staff have been faced with unprecedented challenges. They have had to cope with periods of isolation and loneliness, as well as the demands of managing a home office and organizing home schooling - in addition to the customary duties of caring for families.

This is in fact the reason why we very consciously decided to place the diversty dimension of health at the center of this year's Diversity Month, with the aim of fostering greater awareness of the importance of health, wellbeing, looking after oneself, work-life and study-life balance.

In choosing the motto "WeCare@LMU" the Executive Board wished to express its appreciation of, and continuing support for the entire LMU community. In addition to suggesting possible sources of inspiration, the initiative "WeCare@LMU" is also explicitly intended to cordially thank all employees and students for their commitment and dedication in these trying times.

WeCare@LMU

18 May

Kickoff Diversity Month 2021: WeCare@LMU

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Diversity Month at LMU takes place from May 18 to June 30. Under the motto "WeCare@LMU," the university is creating awareness for a health-promoting environment. To start things off, a kick-off event with panel discussion will be held on May 18. Register here for the event.

Program

With the #HealthLectures, LMU invites you to a series of lectures with renowned scientists from the field of medicine who provide expert insight on all aspects of health.

In the #AllAboutCare series, the topics of mental and physical well-being and health are examined from a variety of disciplines and perspectives.

In workshops and seminars on #WorkLifeBalance and #StuyLifeBalance, LMU students and employees learn about numerous tools that focus on balance, well-being and satisfaction.

Under #HowAreYou, the many drop-in and counseling centers provide insights into their work and create space for conversations with LMU students and employees during open office hours.

The sports taster courses under #Move&Relax, in cooperation with the Central University Sports Center, aim to help LMU students move and relax and raise awareness of the importance of balance.

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