Staff Writer ‘21
The Office of Wellness Education takes pride in hosting the majority of the health and wellness events and services at Merrimack College. If they are not doing an event that is their own, they collaborate with other offices and student organizations on campus.
Within the Office of Wellness Education there are two student run groups. The first is Wellness Peer Educators, who host their own wellness programs for students on the topics of mental well-being, physical wellness, and healthy relationships. Students interested in becoming Wellness Peer Educators must apply. The hope is with students running these events they can be more helpful and relatable to the rest of the students on campus. Active Minds is a club that any student can’t join with no application needed.
One of the Wellness Peer Educators, Angela Merullo, recently had the idea of doing a Confidence Campaign. This campaign started because she realized that there’s this outward perception that everyone has their life together while on the inside that same person is probably having their insecure moments, self-doubt, and so many other things. She then took this idea and put positive words on cutouts and hung them all around campus.
The second student organization is Active Minds, which uses their club to educate students on mental health, connect students to resources, and de-stigmatize mental health issues. They recently raised money through a suicide prevention and awareness walk and are the team behind the “Send Silence Packing” backpack display outside McQuade last fall.
The Office of Wellness Education has two signature weeks during the year. In the fall, they host Wellness Week. During this week, they have an event for each of the six dimensions of wellness. In the spring, they have Love Your Body Week. During this week, they focus on positive body image, eating disorders awareness, and discussing unrealistic norms of beauty in the media.
Although those are their two big weeks, they also hosted their first Wellness Expo this past September. The Wellness Expo is a fair type event with booths from different offices around campus that host fun activities for students around health and wellness. In the spring, they also have Fresh Check Day where they collaborate with Hammel Health.
One Friday afternoon per month, the Office of Wellness Education also hosts an Arts and Relaxation series. This is a program is open to all students to decompress and let their creative juices flow. They also have Late Night Programs, which are off-campus trips on Friday nights to places like laser tag, bowling, or mini-golf. Students need to sign up in advance, but these events are open to everyone.
Students are always welcome to the wellness lounge, which is located in Sakowich 370. This is a great place to relax as there are couches with pillows, essential oils, tea and coffee.
“This is also where you’ll find my office and the graduate fellows who help me run the office,” said Erin Kaminski, who is a Wellness Educator. “Feel free to say ‘Hi’ or come by to ask a question, chat about health, and wellness or otherwise!”
With the semester coming to a close, the Office of Wellness Education will be hosting end of year events. On Friday, December 6 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. one of the graduate fellows will be hosting the last of her Stress Relief Series in the First Floor Lounge along with a graduate fellow from Hammel Health and Counseling. On the same day, the Office of Wellness Education will have the final Arts and Relaxation program from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in the Hub 102b as well as a late-night Cookie Decorating program from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. in the 47 Lounge. Another graduate fellow will be hosting a DIY Finals Survival Kit program from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. in the First Floor Lounge on December 6. Lastly, their final appearance before the semester is over will be December 16 at Cram Jam, which is an event open to all students.
To keep in touch with the Office of Wellness Education, you can find them on Instagram and Facebook @MCwellnessed.