“When students are healthy, their ability to focus, concentrate and do well in school is greatly increased,” said Whitney Henley.
Henley, the Wellness Coordinator at UW-Whitewater, is in charge of the Wellness Fair this week, which has occurred annually for more than 20 years on campus.
Henley said the Wellness Fair is an event for anyone who wants to learn ways to improve any aspect of health and wellness in their life.
This is Henley’s second time helping put together the Wellness Fair, and she said although the fair will be run similarly to last year’s event, there will be a lot of new information too.
“Certainly if someone attended last year, they will still learn new things… it’s always good to have new information and learn the latest health information, too.”
The events at the Wellness Fair will not be focused on simply eating well and exercising. Henley said the fair also focuses on spiritual and mental health.
“There are a lot of different dimensions of wellness, it’s really easy for us to think of eating right and exercising but there’s more to it than that,” Henley said.
Henley said there will be mental health screenings for participants. This can be used to screen for depression, eating disorders and substance abuse.
In the past, Henley said this has been beneficial to many students.
“[Students have] thought they had a serious problem, but found out really they’re more normal, or they learn that they do have a problem,” Henley said. “They learn some tips and ways to improve their mental health functioning.”
The University Health and Counseling Services also collaborates with Rec Sports to put on the Wellness Fair. Jen Kaina is the head coordinator for Rec Sports and Facilities and has been helping out with the fair for the last seven years.
“It’s really fun for the people who do come, because there’s a ton of giveaways at all the tables, and they have a chance to win really great prizes,” Kaina said.
Kaina said in past years they have given away prizes including iPods, yoga mats, fitness equipment, pedometers and resistant balls.
The Rec Sports exhibit also will be giving away fitness memberships, group fitness passes and personal training sessions.
Henley believes overall wellness for students is essential to help them be more successful in school.
“I think it’s going to help [students] succeed in college if [they] maintain high levels of health, but it’s also a good time to set the stage for the rest of your life,” Henley said.
College can be a stressful time for students, and Henley said it is important students make the effort to seek out healthy food options, get enough sleep and manage stress levels.
Financial obligations can also be very stressful for students. Henley said there will be representatives from UW-Credit Union at the fair to talk about financial wellness.
Working for Whitewater’s Wellness (W3) will also be at the Fair. Marci Pasquesi, a representative for W3, said they will be attending the fair to help students improve their own health and “improve the health of others in our community.”
Some exhibitors who will also be at the fair include UW-Whitewater Police Department, Dining Services, Winther Counseling Lab, Fort HealthCare, Mercy Health Systems, True Laser and Glo Salon and Spa, the Art of Living and numerous student organizations on campus.
Other items at the fair include chair massages, bone density screenings, blood pressure checks and flu shots.
Henley said there will also be door prizes such as massages, fitness memberships and gift cards. There will aslo be various giveaways from different vendors at the event.
Everything at the Wellness Fair is free, and there is no need to R.S.V.P.
“You can drop by for the whole time, or five minutes or just pop in between classes,” Henley said.
The event takes place 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 17 in the Univeristy Center’s Hamilton Room.