Millersville University’s Center for Health Education and Promotion (CHEP) in conjunction with Breast-a-ville, hosted its 21st annual Wellness Fair last Wednesday, October 8th from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Student Memorial Center’s Promenade. The event was open to faculty, students and the community, and this year’s theme was “Moving Towards a Better Future.”
As students came by, they heard catchy music playing, smelled popcorn being made and saw that the wellness area was decorated with blue balloons, each table representing Millersville health organizations as well as local health organizations and vendors.
The goal of the wellness fair each year is to provide educational information to help those who attend have the information and resources they need to make positive choices.
“My hope is that students learn something new about health and lifestyle,” said Jayme Trogus, Director of CHEP. “This year, we are looking at decisions and how they impact us.”
This year students were able to receive a free flu shot and experience a broad base of wellness opportunities. Although there was a plethora of information available on diet and physical fitness at the fair, mental health was also not forgotten. One organization that focused on the mental health aspect was TEAMCare Behavioral Health, a Lancaster-based organization who provides outpatient psychological and psychiatric services and behavioral health rehabilitation services for children and adolescents.
TEAMCare decided to focus on educating students on being aware of mindfulness, which is “an ancient eastern practice which is very relevant to our lives today.
Mindfulness is a very simple concept. Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally,” the organization’s pamphlet reads.
Too often as stressed and sleep deprived college students, we allow our minds to wander when we should be living in the present moment.
“We use mindfulness a lot with therapy clients. Meditation and breathing are both ways to reduce anxiety, as we truly focus on the moment,” said Andrea Barrow, director of BHRS.
Another organization who attended the fair was United Way of Lancaster, who focuses on promoting health, education and financial stability for the local community. United Way was excited to share their resources, including knowledge of a free health service.
By dialing 211, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh and Northampton county residents can become connected with a comprehensive information and referral service which can direct you to the appropriate place depending on your health needs, said Patricia Espinosa-Vargas of United Way.
United Way is always looking for volunteers to give what time they have, whether it is only an hour or simply a Saturday. Volunteer opportunities can be found at LiveUnitedLancaster.org.
The fair could not have taken place without the presence of a few furry friends. A 25-pound miniature Australian Labradoodle named Hobbes owned by Gregg MaBerry, was part of the pooches present with the organization Keystone Pet Enhanced Therapy (KPETS). This organization is dedicated to providing registered therapy pets for people who face physical, emotional and mental challenges in the local community.
The great thing about MaBerry’s dog is his coat, which is hypoallergenic, meaning that it does not shed and kids who normally have allergic reactions tend to have a good experience when petting him. MaBerry, who retired in January, decided to become certified with KPETS in April, where he has since visited hospitals, schools and retirement homes.
“Him and I make a great team and we love being around kids,” MaBerry said.
Perhaps one of the most enticing companies there for college students was Long’s Chiropractic, a company off of Columbia Ave., who was offering 2-3 minute chair massages and the chance to win a 60 minute massage. Due to the heavy book load students often carry, Long’s Chiropractic thought providing a pamphlet on work place/school stretches that can both prevent and help relieve back pain would be helpful.
“We are focusing on good posture,” said Dana Woodall of Long’s Chiropractic, who recommends keeping feet flat on the floor, sitting with your back straight, shoulders back and trying to distribute your body weight evenly.
Some other organizations that attended include Compass Mark Drug and Alcohol Information Center, MU’s Respiratory Therapy, Woman’s, Infants and Children (WIC), and Alicia’s Massage and Wellness Center among others. Regardless of which organization students visited, it was impossible to leave not having learned something new.