Story by Leah Ash, Reporter
Photo courtesy Therese Thamann
The Counseling, Health, and Wellness Center has gotten a whole new look with an office remodel, and with that comes new activities. The area was redone with the goal of creating an open area where students are free to come in and relax in the stress-free space. All students are welcome to come by at any point for any issue they may be having, big or small.
“The main goal of The Wellness Center,” said director Sharon Smith, “is to make sure that all student’s basic needs are being met.” The Center wants to ensure that everyone has safety, shelter, and food available. This includes a food pantry at the Wellness Center as well as access to many resources to establish a safe and healthy living area.
In addition to fulfilling everyone’s basic needs, The Wellness Center also works with students on their individual wellness. Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices towards a more successful and fulfilling experience. This includes nine dimensions: community, emotional, spiritual, environmental, occupational, intellectual, physical, diversity and inclusion, and financial. Each student has eight free wellness appointments available to them each semester, and if they do not wish to make an appointment they may join in on various anxiety-relieving events or come in to relax in The Wellness Zone.
While redecorating the office, the counseling department was left with an extra area with nothing in it. To make use of the empty space they created a stress-free, relaxation area available to all students. Within the Wellness Zone is a large massage chair, a vitamin D lamp, calm music, as well as quiet games and puzzles to be used for students to relax and reduce their stress. It requires no prior appointment and it is available all throughout their office hours.
Besides The Wellness Zone, the department also has other anxiety reducing events that are free to the public. These include “Knitting with Jane”and a biweekly meeting with Dr. Mac. “Knitting with Jane” is an anxiety reducing meeting, where students come to learn how to knit. Knitting is a holistic, proven way to reduce anxiety. It does so by making the person focus hard on just the action of knitting, keeping anxious thoughts at bay. If knitting is not your thing, a black Labrador named Dr. Mac stops by every other Thursday from 2:30 to 4:30. His first visit will be Sept. 26, so feel free to stop by to say hello.
The Counseling, Health, and Wellness Center is located in Lower Donnelly. It is open on Mondays through Fridays from 9:00 to 5:00. Walk-in appointments are available from 2:00 to 3:00 on weekdays. Everyone is welcome to set up either a counseling or wellness appointment, or just come to hang out and destress from classes. The center also has monthly events, so be sure to keep updated by visiting their website or by checking the Moose.