Campus and Community unite to educate on health
Published: Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Updated: Thursday, February 9, 2012 18:02
Health is one of the most important things in life; the recent health fair was a reminder of this. On Feb. 1, 2012, many businesses and groups set up booths to give away prizes and show students what they had to offer. There were organizations both on and off campus, ranging from Abby's House to Valley Sports Nutrition.
Campus groups ranging from the Student Garden to Peer Mentors all had one thing in common: tips to help students become healthier. Benefits of eating organic and local were the main draw for the campus garden.
The Western campus garden is located on the north side of Hamersly Library and is available to all students. Anyone can get involved, not just those who are avid gardeners. This spring, students will be re-planting the garden for the coming year. Students interested in getting involved in the garden can contact Tosh Todorov at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Peer Mentors program helps freshmen transition into college life. "We really try and promote a healthy lifestyle," said Lexington Martin, as members described the various services Peer Mentors provides. Specific services for healthy lifestyle include partnering with the RAs and teaching health classes. Upcoming classes include "The Power of Positive Thinking" on Feb. 8 and "Combat Your Cold with the Flu Fighters" on Feb. 16.
This health fair was also very educational about some of the resources that are available to student. The Student Health and Counseling Center is a huge resource for everything from birth control to counseling. Most services are free to full time students who pay their required student health insurance. Other services include immunizations, annual exams, sports injury exams and STD screenings.
The counseling center provides counseling for a variety of issues, the most common being depression, anxiety and relationships. Jaime Silva, one of the counselors, said in regards to the stigma that often surrounds counseling, "These are life issues. We all have things that come up: death, grief, relationships, what is good and not so good in your life. These are all common experiences that we all share."
Abby's House is another resource for students on campus that provides invaluable assistance and help for various concerns including sexual assault, harassment, domestic abuse, depression and birth control. This is the only resource on campus that addresses theses needs.
While many of the groups at the health fair were on campus, several were from the community outside of Western.
Valley Sports Nutrition (VSN) is a store that sells nutritive solutions for exercise, and strength and conditioning. owner Alex Whittiker used to be the strength and conditioning coach at Western before opening his own shop. He can help students plan their own exercise program and find the supplements they need for their specific goals. VSN is located near Muchas Gracias restaurant in Monmouth.
Carlie O'Leal is a massage therapist with EnVision Massage. She works at the Dallas Health and Vitality Center. She has been in Dallas for one and a half years, and her specialty is integrated modalities—looking at each person and giving them a case by case treatment based on their specific needs.
Students came for a variety of reasons. Some did not realize the health fair was going on and found out on their way to class in the Health and Wellness Center; others came for a specific reason. Emily Nascimento, a sophomore, found out about the health fair through the all-student email. She came to learn ways to make her New Year's resolution to get healthy a reality. She also came to learn more about local businesses.
All in all, the health fair was a big show out of many of the different resources and services available to students all within our local community. It was proof that we all have more than enough help to get healthy and stay healthy.