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ACC Celebrates Hi, How Are You Day

January 30, 2024


“Hi, How Are You?” These four simple words, when asked sincerely with a willingness to listen, could make a big difference in someone’s life.

Jan. 22, 2024, was Hi, How Are You Day, a day to ask others “Hi, How Are You?” and really mean it. The occasion was started by the Hi, How Are You Project (HHAYP), an Austin, Texas-based mental health nonprofit, as a reminder to have open conversations about mental health and well-being. It’s also an annual celebration of the life and legacy of the late musician, songwriter, and visual artist Daniel Johnston, who painted the famous “Hi, How Are You” mural (titled Jeremiah the Innocent) in Austin.

Hi, How Are You Day is always a special day for us at American Campus Communities, as we’ve partnered with HHAYP since 2019 to develop mental well-being programs at our student housing communities nationwide. HHAYP helped us develop peer-to-peer training guides that our community and resident assistants use to check in with residents, promote conversations, increase awareness and connect students to resources.
“Raising awareness about mental health has helped our residents not feel so alone. I believe it gives them a sense of relatability and humans want to feel related to,” said Kate Slatton, assistant general manager at Newtown Crossing, which serves University of Kentucky.
ACC Communities celebrating Hi, How Are You Day across the nation.

Here are a few ways we celebrated Hi, How Are You Day this year:

Thriving College Student Index Report
The second annual Thriving College Student Index report came out earlier this week. This benchmark survey shares how nearly 25,000 U.S. college students are feeling and what matters most when it comes to their mental health. This survey was commissioned by the College Student Mental Wellness Advocacy Coalition, of which we’re a founding member. The Coalition is an alliance of the nation’s top student housing providers who advocate for and provide student mental wellness programs in partnership with HHAYP.

Although college students feel stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed, this year’s results show improvement over last year including:
  • Stress: 65% down from 70%,
  • Anxiety/worry: 57% down from 63%, and
  • Being overwhelmed: 57% down from 61%.

The report categorizes college students as Thriving, Maintaining, or Struggling, based on their current mental health status and outlook on the future. Thriving students (79%) are more likely to socialize than Maintaining (55%) and Struggling (28%) students and they regularly practice healthy behaviors such as getting fresh air, good sleep, and healthy eating to feel their best. They are more likely to feel thankful (79%) and happy (76%) and are less likely to feel stressed (53%) anxious/worried (44%), overwhelmed (44%) or lonely (14%)

Hi, How Are You Day Concert

Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes and Valerie June
performing at Hi, How Are You Day Concert.
We were proud to sponsor the Hi, How Are You Day concert featuring Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes and Valerie June. The concert, held at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, highlighted the bridge between music and mental health and all proceeds benefited HHAYP. Both of the featured artists have a passion for raising public awareness and dialogue around mental health.

Celebrations at ACC Communities

The staff and residents at ACC’s student housing communities celebrated Hi, How Are You Day by wearing commemorative shirts in green–the color of mental health awareness. Many communities promoted the HHAYP Happy Habits challenge, which encourages students to keep themselves in good mental health through actions like exercising and creating art. Others promoted self-care, fitness and on-campus mental health resources. And students across the country enjoyed social events with games, art and music.

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