Health and Wellness Fair focuses on mental health, STI awareness

Written By Sarah Gibson, Staff Writer

Lawrence Hall’s lobby was transformed into an oasis for self-care Oct. 11 for the annual Health and Wellness Fair.

Hosted by the Student Health  Center, the Health and Wellness Fair provides the opportunity for students to learn about staying healthy in college, covering topics that range from eating healthy to maintaining positive mental health.

Coordinator of the Student Health Center Heather Capo organized the event and was excited to bring these resources to students.

“We really try to get information out regarding resources that are readily available to the students that will improve their well-being in multiple, multifaceted ways,” Capo said in the Student Health Office. “We want to make sure that they’re addressing their own well being medically, emotionally, mental health-wise, spiritually and bring that all together in one place. Getting all of that information is really important.”

The fair was originally scheduled for Sept. 27, but had to be moved to Oct. 11 due to a scheduling error involving a conference that Capo was invited to attend.

Among the services and information made available at the fair were tables on healthy eating, mental health, STIs and where to be tested for them, free contraception and even a corner with a few massage chairs offering complimentary massages.

One group in attendance was Allies for Health and Wellbeing (AHW,) formerly the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force. AHW offers services for HIV positive people, STI, Hepatitis C and Syphilis test

ing and a program that provides a daily pill that, when taken, is meant to safeguard those who take it against getting HIV.

“Recently there was a statistic from the CDC that for people ages 14-24, STI rates are on the rise, so it’s really important that people come in for testing and it’s really important that young people specifically get access to services,” Leatra Tate, a health advocate for AHW, said. “So they can come into our testing facility and get tested for free, they can get tested anonymously, and they can get tested confidentially.”

Morgan Strathmeyer, a senior dance and education double major, talked about what drew her in the most regarding the Health and Wellness Fair.

“Health is very important and learning new things about… what to eat, and that there are also organizations around Pittsburgh that can help if you have a problem, like physically or mentally,” Strathmeyer said.

When asked about any specific booth that stood out to her, Strathmeyer said, “Massages, 100 percent. Then the different ones about mental health and physical eating disorders.”

Students who missed the fair will have the opportunity to go next fall. Those looking for a specific service or information can visit the Student Health Office on the second floor of Thayer Hall.

Resources available include first aid and initial assessment, doctor’s appointments, athletic trainers and mental health services on the fifth floor of Lawrence Hall.