The weather yesterday for the Student Health and Wellness Fair couldn’t be more different than the forecast last Thursday, when the fair was supposed to take place. Due to rain, the event was delayed, but luckily the sun was in full force yesterday afternoon on Fairfield Way. The fair provided resources geared toward health and wellness for college students with information about topics like mental health, alcohol use, nutrition, body image and fitness. Many of the tents offered free giveaways to students along with information about their resources.
“I liked how many different booths there were with actually helpful things,” Maggie Hausman, a third-semester pre-teaching major, said. “Also, the cauliflower salad from the Dining Services tent was yummy.”
With the motto of “Be well, feel well, do well,” the Student Health and Wellness team had various tents around the fair providing information about their numerous resources, services and programs. Medical care, like annual exams and immunizations, as well as an on-campus pharmacy are available at the Hilda Williams Building. Their Mental Health division, housed on the fourth floor of Arjona, offers a team of mental health professionals “to help you through issues that may interfere with your well-being and academic productivity,” according to the service’s pamphlet.
In Wilson Hall in South Campus is Health Promotion, in which the health educators focus on topics that are most relevant to college students like nutrition, sleep, physical activity, alcohol and drugs, sexual health and stress management. In an adjacent tent, the UConn Recovery Community offered information about alcohol, what a standard drink is and their welcome to students who are “in recovery from substance misuse and substance use disorders.”
Mental Health was offering a survey to students about what they do to relieve stress. The most popular answer was watch Netflix/read, but students also expressed interest in self-care, exercise and art. The program offered information about stress and how to reduce it, as well as how to further gain assistance with stress management from their offices in Arjona.
Another available resource that not many students know to take advantage of are the Nutrition and Physical Activity Services, located on the third floor of the Hilda Williams Building. They offer nutrition counseling by registered dietitians, physical activity counseling by certified fitness professionals, assistance with dining hall accommodations for special dietary needs and the peer education group Students Helping to Achieve Positive Esteem.
Some student organizations present at the fair included the Nutrition Club and Kidney Disease Screening and Awareness Program (KDSAP). Along with a free raffle, the latter group was helping students check their blood pressure, which is indicative of diabetes and kidney disease.
“Our overall goal is to raise awareness about kidney disease, as it’s the ninth leading cause of deaths,” Saurabh Kumar, a seventh-semester physiology and neurobiology major, said. He is co-president of the university’s chapter of KDSAP. “One out of five people are at risk of developing kidney disease … we also go out to the local communities and we run full kidney health screenings ourselves.”
UConn Health was also offering information about food safety, an issue that not many students think about but nonetheless impacts many of us. They provided tips about properly preparing, reheating and storing food, as well appropriate temperatures for take-out and cooked foods.
There were some familiar booths at the fair, such as Allied Health Sciences as well as UConn dining services, which had information about their nutrition and offered samples of Morrocan cauliflower salad. The Women’s Center was also present, with representatives to talk about the UConn Body Project, “a program that emphasizes creating and reaffirming positive and healthy body image.” The program offers activities structured around body image and societal pressures.
“The nutrition club had a lot of interesting facts about food, like Vitamin C is very high in kiwi and eating foods with dietary cholesterol isn’t necessarily bad for you,” Christine Sharabun, a third-semester chemical engineering major, said. “There were also lots of fun prizes for participating in different things at each event.”
Photos by Mike McClellan / The Daily Campus
Hollie Lao is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.