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Health, Wellness and Safety Week held Aug. 29 – Sept. 1 at Appalachian

By Kesha Williams

BOONE—Health, Wellness and Safety Week is underway at Appalachian State University, and continues through Sept 1. The primary purpose is to highlight campus resources available to the university’s students.

View larger imageAt the beginning of each fall semester, Appalachian students, staff and faculty gather on Sanford Mall in the center of campus for the annual Health, Wellness and Safety Festival.

Dr. Alex F. Howard, director of Wellness and Prevention Services, aims to make sure all students are well informed about their wellness options. He described several opportunities for new students to learn and returning students to refresh their knowledge of important services available to them.

The week of programming includes a series of workshops that focus on preventing interpersonal violence, high-risk drinking and suicide prevention, which will be conducted by staff in Wellness and Prevention Services.

In addition to the educational workshops, two signature events are key components to the week’s programming: the university’s annual Walk for Awareness, held Aug. 30, and the annual Health, Wellness and Safety festival, held Aug. 31.

The Walk for Awareness is a silent walk through the Appalachian State University campus to commemorate lives lost to violence. The event is open to the public, and begins at 9 p.m. on Sanford Mall and concludes with a short program at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts.

The university’s Health, Wellness and Safety Festival is scheduled for Aug. 31 on Sanford Mall. From 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., students, faculty and staff are encouraged to tour the area and meet representatives from various university departments, offices, as well as community partners. In addition, they can meet representatives from university clubs and organizations who have prepared messages promoting personal safety measures and ways students can promote wellness among their peers.

“Its primary purpose is to highlight the resources we have on campus, to inform students of what offices and individuals exist to support them as they are transitioning to Appalachian, or continuing their journey at Appalachian,” said Howard.

The workshops and events that take place across campus throughout the week were designed by a team of staff members in Wellness and Prevention Services in recognition that the first six weeks of the semester represent a high-risk season for first-year students in particular. Three areas of particular emphasis are interpersonal violence and sexual violence, alcohol use and suicide prevention. Emphasis is placed on appropriate decision-making, as well as how students can be aware of their needs and responsive to the needs of others.

“How do you assist others who might be in distress? How do you recognize signs of distress within yourself and what are the resources we have present that you can access? Each of the prevention trainings we hold this week correspond to those areas,” Howard said.

“We all have a role to play in assuring health, wellness and safety,” said Howard. “Everyone who works here, goes to school here and resides in the surrounding community. The collective events across the entire week speak not only to individual responsibilities but our collective responsibilities as members of the community,” Howard said.

About the Department of Wellness and Prevention Services

Wellness and Prevention Services at Appalachian creates an environment that promotes healthy lifestyles and academic success for students through services promoting health awareness and active lifestyles. Emphasis is placed on a holistic approach to wellness encompassing eight dimensions: emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social and spiritual. To promote these eight dimensions of wellness, Wellness and Prevention Services offers educational programs on topics including nutrition, sexual health, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, stress and sleep. Additional programming includes events, a variety of individual and group services, therapy, nutrition assessment and a resource library. The office is located in the Miles Annas Student Services Building, located at 614 Howard St. in Boone. For more information, visit http://wellness.appstate.edu or call 828-262-3148.

About Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 18,000 students, has a low faculty-to-student ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.

Health, Wellness and Safety Week Schedule of Events

Monday, Aug. 29

  • Workshop: “How Do You Know if Someone Wants to Have Sex With You?”
    Noon to 1 p.m., Three Top Mountain, Plemmons Student Union Room 169
    Facilitator: Saray Smalls, coordinator for student services
    Participants will discuss characteristics of healthy relationships, the verbal and nonverbal communication patterns associated with intimacy, and consent.
  • Workshop: “Introductions to Ending Violence”
    3 to 5 p.m., Watauga River, Plemmons Student Union Room 102
    Facilitator: Ellen Grulke, interpersonal violence support and prevention coordinator
    Participants will discuss interpersonal violence, sexual violence, methods to prevent interpersonal violence and more.
  • Workshop: “Introductions to Ending Violence”
    7 to 9 p.m., Reich College of Education Room 227
    Facilitator: Ellen Grulke, interpersonal violence support and prevention coordinator
    Participants will discuss interpersonal violence, sexual violence, methods to prevent interpersonal violence and more.

Tuesday, Aug. 30

  • Workshop: “How Do You Know if Someone Wants to Have Sex With You?”
    Noon to 1 p.m., Three Top Mountain, Plemmons Student Union Room 169
    Facilitator: Saray Smalls, coordinator for student services
    Participants will discuss characteristics of healthy relationships, the verbal and nonverbal communication patterns associated with intimacy, and consent.
  • Workshop: “Alcohol and Your Body: What You Want to Know”
    1 to 2 p.m., Table Rock, Plemmons Student Union Room 201-B
    Facilitator: Ben Asma, assistant director for Wellness and Prevention Services
    Participants will explore the intersection of high-risk drinking and personal well-being.
  • Workshop: “Alcohol and Your Body: What You Want to Know”
    2 to 3 p.m., Table Rock, Plemmons Student Union Room 201-B
    Facilitator: Ben Asma, assistant director for Wellness and Prevention Services
    Participants will explore the intersection of high-risk drinking and personal well-being.
  • Workshop: “Repost: Rethink”
    4:30 to 5:30 p.m., Rough Ridge, Plemmons Student Union Room 415
    Facilitator: Elisabeth Cavallaro, suicide prevention coordinator
    Participants will explore suicide, its relationship to social media and identify communication elements that are harmful and contribute to the risk of suicide.
  • Video: “Why Walk? A Survivor’s Story”
    8 p.m., Belk Library and Information Commons Room 114
    Through interviews, this video recounts the genesis of the Walk for Awareness and explores the impact that it has had on our campus.
  • Walk for Awareness
    9 p.m., Sanford Mall
    A silent walk through the Appalachian State University campus to commemorate lives lost to violence, support victims and survivors of violence, and serve as a collective moment of empowerment and a call to action to prevent all forms of interpersonal violence.
    http://appcares.appstate.edu/walk

Wednesday, Aug. 31

  • Health, Wellness and Safety Festival
    10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sanford Mall
    Participants are encouraged to tour the area and meet representatives from various university departments, offices, as well as community partners. Also in attendance will be university clubs and organizations who have prepared messages promoting personal safety measures and ways students can promote wellness among their peers.
  • Workshop: “Suicide Prevention”
    1:30 p.m., Three Top Mountain, Plemmons Student Union Room 169
    Facilitator: Elisabeth Cavallaro, suicide prevention coordinator
    Participants will identify signs that a person is in distress and needs support; participants will also explore risk factors associated with suicide and learn to recognize warning signs.
  • Workshop: “Active Bystander Intervention”
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Belk Library and Information Commons Room 421
    Facilitator: Ellen Grulke, interpersonal violence support and prevention coordinator
    Participants will assess the type of situations where an active bystander might intervene in the case of interpersonal violence.

Thursday, Sept. 1

  • Workshop: “Alcohol and Your Body: What You Want to Know”
    3 to 4 p.m., Table Rock, Plemmons Student Union Room 201-B
    Facilitator: Ben Asma, assistant director for Wellness and Prevention Services
    Participants will explore the intersection of high-risk drinking and personal well-being.
  • Workshop: “Alcohol and Your Body: What You Want to Know”
    4 to 5 p.m., Table Rock, Plemmons Student Union Room 201-B
    Facilitator: Ben Asma, assistant director for Wellness and Prevention Services
    Participants will explore the intersection of high-risk drinking and personal well-being.
  • Workshop: “Active Bystander Intervention”
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Belk Library and Information Commons Room 421
    Facilitator: Ellen Grulke, interpersonal violence support and prevention coordinator
    Participants will assess the type of situations where an active bystander might intervene in the case of interpersonal violence.

For more information about the Health, Wellness and Safety Festival, visit http://wellness.appstate.edu or call Wellness and Prevention Services at 828-262-3148.

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