Week of Wellness sets goal to take care of student health


Melissa Nunez – General Assignment Reporter

With programs such as “Zen doodling,” “Let’s Go Build Legos, Building Wellness through Play,” and “Pet Therapy Thursdays,” the Week of Wellness coordinates various university groups and community organizations with one purpose: overall student health and wellness, said Emily Rosenthal, Coordinator of the Wellness Center and Week of Wellness planner.  

Rosenthal said the Week of Wellness was started by Associate Dean of the School of Health and Human Services Yan Searcy, last year and has since paired up with the Wellness Center.

Rosenthal said there were about 40 various events registered throughout the Week of Wellness. She said out of all of the events the Well Fest was her favorite, which featured about 45 tables of various university and community organizations.

“I love them all, but because I think the Well Fest is such a collaborative effort,” said Rosenthal. “We have Community agencies that come on campus to show what they have to offer the community and university department student groups, so it is like the perfect collaboration of everyone in our community.”

Melissa Gottier, senior recreation and leisure major, said she appreciated the email updates that were provided for the Week of Wellness that were not previously available. Gottier said she wanted to attend the events so she can learn how to improve the Southern community as well as gain information pertinent to her major.

“I figured that I would come out and look at what we can do to improve our community for Southern,” said Gottier. “I was hoping to see stuff that would help with wellness, with health, eating right, also with sexual abuse, and then also looking on the different outlooks for substance abuse, so if I did have a friend or a client, then I know who to reference them to.”

Gottier added students should attend events such as the Week of Wellness so they can access significant health and safety information as well as resources that could potentially help themselves or the people close to them.

The Connection’s “Better Choice Program” was featured during the Well Fest in hopes of raising awareness about problem gambling. Kaitlin Foshay, gambling therapist at the Connection, said through her work, she primarily speaks with older groups of people and appreciates the opportunity to discuss problem gambling with a younger demographic.

“I love talking to students. People who come to treatment with problem gambling usually come at a later age. We are seeing a lot of people in their late 40s, 50s, and older. Our youngest client is probably 28,” said Foshay. “So it is a new population and I get excited to work with people, educate them, spread the awareness that gambling is an actual addiction, just as addictive as drugs and alcohol.”

Foshay added the Connection attended the Wellness Fair last year as well, and is often invited to Wellness Center events on campus.

Active Minds also featured their table during the Well Fest. Alyssa Korzon, junior majoring in education and theater, active minds president, said students who visited their table could participate in two activities: “Take What You Need, Leave What You Can,” where students could write a positive message then leave it for someone else and take one that another student wrote, as well as a miniature photo booth.

Korzon said that through their table Active Minds wanted students to realize there is positivity in every day and that there are organizations right in campus who could provide them with a source of happiness and support.

“With the grateful messages, there is always something to be grateful for. Even if you are having a really bad day, you could always find something to be grateful for,” said Korzon, “and we just want students to know that there are organizations on campus that are really uplifting and supportive and that there are a lot of different ways to relieve stress.”

Photo Credit: Melissa Nunez – General Assignment Reporter

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