Every year during Suicide Prevention Week, the UConn Student Health and Wellness program holds its annual Wellness Fair. The fair was held on Thursday, Sept. 14, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fairfield Way.
Students could walk around to various booths and win prizes, get food and learn about important health information. Booths focused on all types of health, including physical and emotional health. In addition, several booths had interactive events to get students engaged. The more popular attractions were Plinko and spinning a wheel to win a prize.
The SHaW booth gave out small yellow flags for students to write positive and empowering messages on. Afterward, the students would put the flags in the ground and receive a free t-shirt along with tote bags, lanyards and pens.
There were a multitude of booths for physical health such as the Recreation Center, the UConn Nutrition Club and Protect Our Pack. The Rec Center talked to students about getting in the gym and had Plinko boards to win prizes. At another booth, the Nutrition Club taught students about what foods should be going into their bodies and how to choose healthy options. And last but certainly not least, Protect Our Pact focused on intervening in situations dealing with sexual assault, intimate partner violence and stalking.
One of SHaW’s main priorities was discouraging students from participating in underage drinking and the use of both illegal or prescription drugs. To reflect this, SHaW presented booths on substance abuse, with one booth providing Narcan, a treatment for a narcotic overdose.
Emotional health is another big area of concern for many students and SHaW provides a lot of resources to aid students with their mental health. The Suicide Prevention booth presented a lot of useful information about suicide such as its warning signs and ways to help. SHaW also has group therapy sessions you can sign up for that were shown at the booth.
“I’m enjoying it a lot, I’m learning about the different stuff they have for Student Health and Wellness,” said Robert Perry, an undergraduate student, when asked about his opinion on the fair. Robert appeared very enthusiastic and appreciative of the event and said, “It’s nice to have all this support here and they’re so willing to help. Having such an interactive fair makes it more appealing for people to learn about stuff. They even have prizes as well to make more of an incentive to learn about this stuff.”
The Sexperts — SHaW’s sexual education program — had a lot of good information about safe sex and future events. Not only did they provide lube and condoms for free at the booth, they also talked to students about the support they provide physically and emotionally. The Sexperts have peer support drop-in hours for students looking for support or wanting more information about sex. They also provide a program called “gloveBOX” where the program delivers a box of free condoms to students when they sign up. They offer six different types of boxes to fit the different needs of students.
UConn Women’s Center also had a very informational and inclusive booth that provided students with the opportunity to get involved or learn more. They have groups such as the Men’s Project, which focuses on students who identify as men to focus on topics related to gender socialization, masculinities, social justice and gender-based violence. They also have Greeks Against Sexual Assault (GASA) which focuses on similar topics but surrounding fraternity and sorority life.
The Undergraduate Student Government had students take a survey about sexual health, specifically women’s menstrual products, asking students questions such as which buildings tampon dispensers should be held in. After completing the survey menstrual-related prizes were available.
If you weren’t able to make the fair or if any of these topics sound interesting, SHaW encourages students to reach out at studenthealth.uconn.edu or by using their phone number (860) 486-4700. They also have social media: @UConnStudentHealth on Instagram and @UCStudentHealth on X, formerly known as Twitter.