UCO Provides Free Outreach Educational Programs on Health and Wellness
The UCO Counseling Center is offering outreach programs for students to learn to live a healthier life, mentally and physically. Among these programs are open, free and confidential groups targeted to a number of students’ issues. (Photo provided by Pixabay.)
The Center for Counseling and Well-Being (CCWB) provides outreach educational programs to help students achieve a healthy lifestyle while attending college. The CCWB team conducts free presentations and classes in health topics presented by a professional staff.
Classes provide students with an education that is meant to help them develop the skills and knowledge to better achieve healthy lifestyles.
According to the CCWB website, classes and programs include college health topics such as sexual health, suicide prevention, anger management and several other topics. The classes and activities aim to educate students on comprehensive wellness, using topics that reflect different types of health issues that can take place on campus.
Brittney Criswell, UCO’s health promotion manager, coordinates outreach education programs and manages the student and health programing activities.
“We are trying to reach different parts of the UCO community, and so, we offer a variety of different types of education. Some would do actual classes where we would go to an instructor’s classroom and talk about different health topics, whatever they choose,” Criswell said.
CCWB’s health promotion programs and campaigns are aligned with awareness weeks at UCO, such as Sexual Health Awareness Week, Be Mindful Week, Alcohol Awareness Week and several other educational events.
“We know that health and learning are interconnected, and so, it is super important for our students to be healthy and well, because it translates to how they do academically and, really, how they perform in their lives,” Criswell said.
UCO’s wellness professionals analyze the Eight Dimensions of Wellness model. This model follows the idea that there are eight dimensions where students, faculty and staff can be well. Physical health, for example, is only one aspect of being well and healthy, despite of a lot of people believing that exercise is all you need to be healthy, Criswell said.
According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), wellness incorporaates overall well-being, including the emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social and spiritual aspects of one’s life.
Criswell said that students need to be emotionally well and capable of handling stress and difficult tasks in order to succeed in college. For that, students need to have strong coping abilities.
Emotional wellness means effectively coping with life and creating satisfying relationships, according to SAMHSA.
“There are so many different facets within wellness, so that’s why we try to offer such a variety of programs and outreach for students so that they can take advantage of those things and learn the life skills they need to be able to make it through college, and then on in their lives as they leave UCO,” Criswell said.
Even though there’s a stigma with asking for help, students should feel comfortable about opening up and reaching out, as the school offers educational programs on health and wellness with no costs, Criswell said.
“We have to do this together. And we have a good support system and great resources for our students here. We want students to take advantage of it. We want students to come so they can help others,” Criswell said.