Wellness Task Force promoting ‘health awareness’

Category:  News
Friday, November 8th, 2019 at 11:09 AM
Wellness Task Force promoting ‘health awareness’ by Samantha Mannion
Stories Over Silence, an event that focused on self-care and mental health awareness, was organized by the Wellness Task Force earlier this semester. Here are students making stress balls at the event. | Photo: Benjamin McCullough

The Wellness Task Force, a committee of people dedicated to campus wellness, is a recent addition to Edinboro University. 

Member Mary Wolf said that this coalition was formed, “to educate, advocate, [and to] promote health awareness, healthy lifestyles, healthy choices for everybody on campus.”

It is coordinated by Darla Elder, who described the organization’s composition as, “designees from various departments, including but not limited to academics, counseling and psychological services, student health services, student affairs, athletics, marketing and communications, and the Veteran’s Success Center.”

Elder went on to say that something like the Wellness Task Force (WTF) has existed at Edinboro before in the form of the Health and Wellness Committee, but that they “wanted something more comprehensive” for the campus. Now there are, according to Elder, “several different subgroups of WTF that work on grants and programming throughout the year.”

According to Wolf, they are working toward that goal of making it more comprehensive. “It has always been interdepartmental, university wide,” but that the push for that by Elder is much more significant this year.

Adding to the comprehensiveness of the WTF, Elder also said, “I think we’re tackling some important health topics we hadn’t thoroughly addressed before.” 

The group’s events started this fall and are lined up through the spring 2020 semester. 

WTF started with the Stories over Silence (SOS) event in September, which focused on self-care, mental health awareness and holistic health. It was held on World Suicide Prevention Day. 

In October, they put together the Get Yourself Tested event to promote STD prevention. According to the committee’s meeting notes, “To our knowledge, EU is the only state university to provide free testing and treatment for STDs.” 

Upcoming events for November and December are Vapeout and World Aids Day, respectively. According to Wolf, the November Vapeout event is in correlation with the Great American Smokeout put on by the American Cancer Society, which encourages people to quit smoking.

World AIDS Day, meanwhile, seeks to mourn the loss of  those who have died from the disease and spread awareness about AIDS. 

The ultimate goal of this task force and these events, according to Joye Dado, a member and nurse practitioner, is, “to promote wellness campus-wide” and to remind people that “wellness looks different to different people.” 

If helping with any of these events sounds interesting, students can go to the meetings on the third Wedneasday of the month at 1 p.m. The next one will be held on Nov. 20. Wolf stressed the fact that students don’t have to go through their academic department to get involved. 

Students can also join the Wellness Peer Educators group, led by Wolf, which works very closely with the task force. Students can also become a peer responder after completing a 10-week training course for two hours a week in the spring semester. If you are interested, please send an email to healthcenter@edinboro.edu.

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