Student Health Services promotes wellness with Halloween spirit

Student Health Services hosted a Halloween-themed open house Wednesday to promote stress management techniques and student success. The Student Health Center was transformed into a Halloween house and costumed staff handed out treats to attract students to come in and talk about stress management techniques.

The SHS Open House planning committee thought this was the best time to offer stress management practices and to inform students about the resources they offer.

As it is the week of midterms and, coincidentally, Health Education week, it is prime time to contribute to the stress management and ‘How to Thrive’ activities being offered at this time,” said Linda Meier, co-chair SHS open house planning committee. “We also want to educate those students who may have never utilized the Student Health Center services about what we and our partner organizations offer. For those who have visited SHS in the past, maybe there are services we offer that they are not aware of.”

Along the building’s circular hallway were tables promoting the various health resources available to students. There, visitors and staff members discussed the programs offered and how to access them. A haunted hall was also created by a few recreation and tourism students who enticed students to go in by telling them it would “scare their stress away.” The event also offered free massages.

“It was very relaxing and it definitely helped me de-stress,” said third-year graduate student Tomas Nieto. “The masseuses were very good.”

The free massage station was ran by Nancee Boyan, a fourth-year biology major, along with a group of students who are trained by licensed masseuses. Boyan informed students that they are available to give free massages every Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. in room 306 of the health and social sciences building..

In addition to free massages, SHS also offered other stress-relieving workshops such as yoga and meditation.

“I like that they’re promoting ways to deal with stress in a more natural way without having to use any catalysts and drugs,” fifth-year biology major Allan Lee said while waiting for the meditation workshop to begin. He saw the event while walking past the building and decided to drop by.

Two staff psychiatrists were also present at the event. They promoted good sleep practices as a way to eliminate and avoid stress.

“Bad sleeping patterns start in high school and intensify in college,” said staff psychiatrist Mehri Brown. “Students are always trying to get as many activities as possible in their schedules so they never get enough sleep. All that lack of sleep builds up and results in anxiety.”

Laurene Dominguez from the counseling department chose to emphasize time management and ways to cope with stress.

“The biggest thing is planning your schedule and finding a balance between school and work,” Dominguez said. “I also think exercise, proper nutrition and doing fun things to unwind are important. If those things are not helping, then it’s a good time to come into counseling.”

Overall, students who attended the event said they enjoyed the activities and treats.

“They’re very good at attracting people,” said fourth-year physiology major Jennifer Milan. “I like the live music.”

The live music was performed by students William Berg, Alex Farrel and Ben Martinez, who were all from the music department.

“I like the haunted hall,” said third-year information system major Nasreen Bassa. “This event has been fun and informative. They also gave out chocolates, which is always a stress reliever.”

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