WellFest offers fun ways to tackle wellness
The Office of Health Education introduced a new incentive based wellness event called WellFest. The event spanned four days and featured 16 different activities, including tarot readings, therapy dogs, and safe sex jeopardy.
The event also included two opportunities for a $100 gift card through the “Step it Up Challenge,” which awarded the prize to the participant that took the most steps in a one week span, and “Well at Lasell Attendance Challenge,” where another gift card was awarded to the person that attended the most events and posted proof of attendance to an Instagram hashtag.
Associate Director of Health Education Adela Hruby said the process for coming up with these events focused on utilizing the skillsets they already had. “We know our students. Lasell students love therapy dogs, for example. There's also a big yoga following. And then we also leveraged some of the expertise among our counselors here. One is a certified coach, for example, so goal setting was among those things they were responsible for. We also have a highly qualified dancer, so she ran a dance program,” Hruby said.
Hruby said the purpose of hosting so many events in close proximity was to provide students with different types of outlets so they can find what works for them.
“We're trying to help people with all kinds of ways to expand their toolkit so they can learn how to support their well being in lots of ways. The logo for this office is this eight prong sort of spiral that has spiritual wellness, professional wellness, financial wellness, and physical, mental, and social well being. We tried to hit as many of those as we could,” Hruby said.
According to Hruby, the student feedback was mainly positive. First-year fashion design and production student Atllas Stone attended many of the events and found them an effective break from their day-to-day schedule.
“I thought that each event was advertised as a different way for students to learn and to have an outlet. Some allowed students to do so physically, socially, educationally, creatively, and just allowed students to feel like they had options to have a mental break in a way that appealed to them. I think that providing that wide variety is incredibly important and makes it so students can try new things but also stay in their comfort zones if they would like to do so,” Stone said.
Stone emphasized how the events provide a safe space surrounding mental health topics.
“I think that some of the hardest things for students our age to do is to openly talk about mental health and well-being in a way that they don't feel judged or stigmatized. And with that there are so many questions students have that they feel there isn't a proper time and place to ask and that only creates more confusion and stress over these. So I think that having these types of informal yet fun events allows students to do so on their own terms in a way they don't feel stigmatized or fear of asking questions or for help,” Stone said.
The event generated enough attention that Hruby and the Office of Health Education have plans to run the event again annually. Hruby adds if students have feedback for how they can make the event a more positive experience, they should reach out to the Health Education office by email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or to Hruby personally at AHruby@lasell.edu.