Wellness Coaching Initiative
TREND 1: Private corporate sector wellness programs have shifted to virtual Health and Wellness Coaching.
Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier, MD, advised that this sector is more receptive and unequivocally the best place for Health and Wellness Coaches. COVID-19 has accelerated this trend because companies have had to disperse their workforce and find ways to offer wellness programs offsite and in the employee’s homes. The solution was inter-digitizing Health and Wellness Coaches into a corporate program at home and that is unlikely to change. Health and Wellness Coaches are supporting employees to have a daily routine, concentrate on healthy lifestyle behaviors they can control, and support them to make positive changes, improve their health and build resilience (K. Pelletier, personal communication, November 17, 2020).
Dr. Pelletier believes that:
“Health and Wellness Coaching is intersectional in the corporate setting. He envisions Health and Wellness Coaching programs located anywhere in the world, providing services to any country where the company has offices. There would be obvious cultural differences in areas such as nutrition, however, basic coaching strategies for dietary changes, weight management, smoking cessation or stress management are universal.”
A recent Health and Wellness Coaching study by WebMD of corporate wellness programs customer outcomes concluded that, “with proven risk reduction and cost savings, Health and Wellness Coaching has emerged as one of the leading wellness solutions available today. Health and Wellness Coaching offers a true population management solution that engages a broad number of employees, motivates them to make long-term behavioral changes, and contributes to a stronger employer-employee partnership”.
Telephonic Health and Wellness Coaching to employees, which takes a holistic approach rather than focusing on specific disease or illness, has consistently shown a strong impact on population health. After the coaching program was in effect for one year, employers found impressive results in the key areas of repeatable outcomes and claims-backed cost savings. Health plans claims analysis resulted in a medical claim cost savings of US$148 per person per year across all risk groups, which translated into US$575,000 in total annual savings from avoided medical and pharmaceutical claims expenditures (Andalman, 2021).
TREND 2: Schools and universities are an emerging settings for health and wellness coaching.
Gerry Bodeker, Ph.D., who undertook doctoral studies at Harvard with decades of research at Oxford and Columbia University, shared that the notion of Health and Wellness Coaching in schools is growing. Health and Wellness Coaches support students in knowing what their potential is and knowing what the risks are in not managing a life well. Stand-alone coaches and/or teachers being trained in the principles of wellness coaching around behavior change are emerging (Bodeker, 2020).
Research shows that college students are experiencing increased levels of stress and mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression, as well as overwhelming feelings when trying to balance their studies and life. The American College Health Association adds that Health and Wellness Coaching is fairly new, gaining momentum and has potential as an effective approach for improving student well-being and academic achievement in the higher education setting.
Grounded in holistic wellness, Health and Wellness Coaching is an intentional effort to guide students in setting goals that acknowledge the complexity of the behaviors in which they choose to engage and the varying barriers that exist in the collegiate environment. A multi-dimensional model of well-being allows the coaching session to affirm that well-being is dynamic and often exists at the intersection of their identity, the environment in which they live and the behaviors they choose.
Health and Wellness Coaching is part of multidisciplinary services and resources offered to support student mental health and well-being. Coaching is an effective methodology for energizing behavior changes because it concentrates on helping students become more autonomous experts in their own well-being and personal journeys (American College Health Association, 2021).
ACHA. (n.d.). ACHA White Paper. Retrieved January 5, 2022, from https://www.acha.org/documents/resources/guidelines/ACHA_Wellness_Coaching_White_Paper_Feb2020.pdf
Andalman, K. L. (2021). Wellness coaching positively impacts corporate culture. RSS. Retrieved January 5, 2022, from https://www.corporatewellnessmagazine.com/article/wellness-coaching-positively-impacts-corporate-culture