Wellness Week focusing on holistic health

There's more to staying healthy than chugging a vegetable drink so the Office of Wellness Education is sponsoring the first-ever Wellness Week on campus this week to encourage taking care of the whole person.

As part of the week, Hamel Health is hosting a flu shot clinic put on by Doctors Express Urgent Care in Cascia Hall Wednesday from 1 to 5 p.m. “To keep the community healthy, because influenza is highly contagious,” said Denise Dwyer, assistant director of Hamel Health and Counseling.

The flu usually starts showing up in the United States after Thanksgiving and students typically start falling ill around finals week so the vaccine is a great preventive measure, Dwyer said.

Even if students get the flu after a vaccine it’s typically milder and they recover quickly, she said.

Doctors Express is owned by Merrimack alumna Lisa Williams and often provides care for students when the health center is closed.

The $25 cost of shots is covered by many insurers and often reimbursed by other insurers, Dwyer said.

Staying healthy includes taking care of the mental, physical, social, emotional and spiritual well-being, said Wellness Educator Megan O’Hara. “It’s important to understand that all of these things go together,” O’Hara said. 

Wellness Week started Sunday with the celebration of Mass in Austin Hall’s Our Mother of Good Counsel Chapel at 5 p.m. followed by a prayer service in Cascia Hall at 8 p.m.

Two victims of fire are slated to discuss fire safety and overcoming adversity in Cascia Hall Monday at 7 p.m. 

Hip hop artist Kai Roberts is scheduled to appear Tuesday to present a program called Active Mic: Mental Health Through Music.

“We’re bringing in a speaker from a national organization called Active Minds, which works to de-stigmatize mental health on college campuses,” O’Hara said. “He is a hip hop artist and talks about his personal journey with anxiety and depression, but uses his music as a way to talk about his story.”

On Wednesday, Psychology Department assistant professor Laura Kurdziel is scheduled to discuss sleep health and dreaming  at 7:30 p.m. followed by a showing of the Leonardo DiCaprio film “Inception.”

Thursday is the scheduled Mental Health Screening Day. Participants can take an anonymous online screening at Screening.mentalhealthscreening.org/Merrimack for health concerns such as depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, PTSD, eating disorders, addictions, mood disorders; or be screened in-person for depression or anxiety in Sakowich Campus Center’s third floor lounge from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Finally, on Friday there’s a scheduled Paint Workshop for students of all artistic abilities in room 207 at Cushing Hall. Participants are asked to sign up by email at wellnesseducation@merrimack.edu.

Campus Fitness & Recreation is offering free sessions of its fall schedule for Group Exercise for the week. 

“It encourages students to come in and try classes they may not otherwise go to,” said Director Matthew Gordon. 



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