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New Wellness Center to focus on student health

The Wellness Center Kickoff Event will occur on Friday, Sept. 16, to raise awareness for Paly’s ultramodern and elegant health center.

The new area will provide as a guidance area for the physical and mental health needs of the student body. Students will be able to ask health-related questions, connect to various health resources and enjoy the relaxed environment.

“The physical space of the Wellness Center is a safe and supportive environment for students to go to, whether they’re looking for more information about health and wellness or want to see the nurse for a medical problem or an injury,” said Julia Chang, a Wellness Center staff member.

Inside the Wellness Center, there are various tools to help students destress, including adult coloring books, kinetic sand, healthy snacks and a variety of books, all of which help students relax in the often-stressful school environment.

“I feel like Paly is kind of like a mini-college,” Chang said. “There are a lot of similarities in issues of students that you see in college and high school, like academic stress, lack of sleep, sexual health, fitness, nutrition and so on.”

The Wellness Center to provide support for all forms of health, not only mental health. It is designed to combat the stigma against mental health by combining mental health facilities with relaxation and physical health facilities. The Wellness Center also hopes to prevent said negative stigma by having a much more reserved location than the old psychologist’s office, which was facing the quad and much more public.

The event kickoff will be the first of many that will occur over the course of the school year. It will take place during lunch on the quad and include various student activities aimed at increasing health education and promoting student wellness.

“We’ll have a prize wheel with nutrition trivia to get students thinking about eating healthy and why fruits and veggies are important,” Chang said. “September is ‘Fruits and Veggies Matter.’ Every month we’re aiming to do a schoolwide activity revolving around a particular theme.”   

Chang hopes to receive student feedback in order to improve the Wellness Center and future events.

Additionally, she hopes to work with the Associated Student Body (ASB) members such as Cezanne Lane, ASB’s Social Justice and School Climate Commissioner, in order to form a student committee that will promote and aid in the planning of these events as well as other wellness-related activities on campus. Applications to join this committee will be due on September 19th in the Wellness Center or the Student Affairs Office (SAO) outside the library.

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