Staying healthy means attention to body and mind

Sara Kozlowski

Student Health Services encouraged students to adapt better lifestyles at its annual Health and Wellness Fair on April 11. More than 30 agencies were represented in Burt Kahn Court, displaying information promoting both physical and mental health.

“We organize the health fair as a service to the university community and to the businesses and health care professionals in the Hamden area,” Dr. Phillip Brewer, medical director for Student Health Services, said. “There is a strong emphasis on prevention which comes in a variety of forms including exercise, avoiding or stopping tobacco use, stress management, and other forms of hygiene, most of which were represented at the Health Fair.”

Booths included information about eye care, spinal health, dental preservation, blood pressure, meditation, safe sex and pediatric health. There was also a CPR station demonstrating how the life-saving practice is performed.

“I didn’t expect so many different tables,” freshman Amanda Schaffrick said. “When I think of being healthy, I usually just think of it in the physical sense. The fair has made me realize being healthy does not just include physical health, but mental health, as well.”

Student Health Services held its own table displaying information about panic disorders, anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. It also advertised the counseling services it offers to students.

Attendees were given paper bags to fill with free samples to take home as a reminder to maintain an overall state of well-being. This included Frisbees, floss, tea, food and T-shirts. Some stands took on a carnival-esque theme, engaging people to spin a wheel to win a prize.

“I like trying new things and there were a lot of products being given away as free samples that I had never heard of before,” freshman Jacob Nadeau said. “One of the tables gave away some energy supplements and tea [from Thyme & Season] that I’m actually really eager to try.”

Representatives behind each booth explained what kind of health they were promoting. Junior Liv Miko presented a table expressing the benefits of meditation exercises, such as yoga.

“Yoga is a great way to reduce stress, especially around finals week,” she said. “Living a healthier lifestyle improves concentration, which can help you focus on your studies better. That’s the goal of this fair: to get students to live healthier because living healthier will improve everything, even the concentration required during finals.”

Brewer stated in an email that Student Health Services was gratified by the strong attendance by students, staff and faculty who “by so doing demonstrated their personal and community interest in good health.”