Jul 09, 2020

Wellness program goes to USU

Matt Weir / The Collegian

In order to promote all of the different resources that are available for students at the Student Health Center, the Student Health Center is coming to them.

The Student Health Center will reopen the Wellness Lounge on the first floor of the University Student Union (USU) building on Feb. 8 to give students information on all the health services that are available for them.

A $30,000 grant from AETNA, a health oriented company, back in 2007 made it possible for the health center to start the Wellness Program, an educational program that provides students with information to start and maintain healthy behaviors.

A second grant by AETNA of $33,000 in 2009, made it possible to take the Wellness Program to the USU building. It was decided by the students working in different committees at the health center that their spot would be called “The Wellness Lounge.”

Kathleen Yarmo, health promotions and wellness services coordinator, said that the idea for the Wellness Lounge was to bring the amenities offered in the Health Center to the “heart” of the campus.

“The Wellness Lounge started when we saw an empty spot at the USU building so we submitted a proposal to the USU board of directors on promoting health education, and the directors liked the concept so much last semester, that they’re letting us do it again this semester with no cost,” Yarmo said.

Wellness Ambassador Celeste Koll said that although generally the members of the committee consists of health science students, there are also other peer educators from different majors such as: psychology, biology, business and arts.

“There’s a lot of different majors all working together, that offer different perspectives. We’re all coming together working for the common good of the students,” Koll said.

Georgianna Negron, wellness student coordinator, said that the concept of the Wellness Lounge is to incorporate fun activities with educating students on how to manage the different issues that affect their health.

“A big part of it deals with educating students in letting them know what services are offered for them, since they did pay for these services,” Negron said. “It’s sad how often students miss out on these programs, so I joined to help educate and empower students with this information so they can get the full experience of being in college.”

The lounge will also offer different health services daily. The program will include such themes as the “Happy Hour,” where the Alcohol Safety Council will inform students about alcohol by performing karaoke and distributing “mocktails.”

One of the programs that will be emphasized is the Family PACT session on “Hump Day Wednesday” where peer health educators discuss with students through games the importance of their sexual health.

Peer health education student coordinator Hannah Day said it’s important for students to be aware on how their sexual lifestyle will affect them.

“Since our college population, our average age range, is the highest risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections, and also in family planning and having children, it’s really a vital time to reach people and peer-to-peer is really an effective way in reaching those students,” Day said.

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