OSU Wellness Agents, Wellness Nook focused on personal growth for students

The Wellness Nook is located inside the Memorial Union Room 62.

Jessica Li

Before school, work, or jobs, maintaining your health and wellness must always come first. There are many ways Oregon State helps keep its students feeling bright, and one of those resources is the Wellness Nook and it’s Wellness Agents! As of fall 2019, the Wellness Nook in the Memorial Union has been up and running, providing essential wellness resources to students who have made their way in. 

From the Academic Success Center to the Counseling & Psychological Services, or the Human Services Resource Center, Oregon State University truly cares about its students and their well-being by providing resources that try to meet student needs, such as intellectual, mental, physical, and other aspects of their health. However, the varied amount of resources can make it overwhelming to select from. 

Thus, the Wellness Nook comes into play; a partnership between Student Health, CAPS, and Recreational Sports, it utilizes a more efficient method that narrows down the options and directs students to the resources that would best serve them. Usually, students can come into the Wellness Nook, ask questions, and have a conversation with a trained peer. 

They offer support in certain areas of health and wellness that affect students on a regular basis, such as personal goal setting, nutrition, safe sex, and sleep. 

The goal of this is to try to make students feel more comfortable reaching out with the understanding that their peers have been in that position before and are now knowledgeable and trying their best to help. They are a support system. 

Samantha Giaimo, one of the trained peers who is a third year student majoring in Psychology, works as a Student Resource Staff member. She expresses her experience at the Wellness Nook.

“I personally love working here because then I get that connection with students that I normally wouldn’t and I’m building that trust and eventually people come back and they become regulars.”

Not only does the Wellness Nook refer students to other resources on campus, but it also offers wellness activities of its own. 

For example, there is a Drop-In Mindfulness Meditation on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 3pm, which is a 15 minute interaction led by a trained peer. I attended one of these sessions, and I remember feeling very stressful that day at first, but I was finally able to relax during the meditation and then left in a much better mood overall. I experienced self-awareness and heartfelt connection with my peers, knowing that I was not alone and that they were there to have a good time like I was. 

Other events they offer include the availability of sexual health educators on Mondays from 10am-12pm, the appearance of representatives from HSRC on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am-1pm, and a visit to a therapy dog named Parker on Wednesdays from 10:30-11:30am. 

“It’s a patchwork of programs and services and people, and we’re all trying to work together to help students be more well,” says Danielle Caldwell, the Wellness Nook Coordinator.

Bonnie Hemrick, the Assistant Director of Mental Health Promotion at CAPS and one of the Wellness Nook leads, has thoughts that align with Caldwell’s statement regarding the Wellness Nook.

“With this space, students will have greater access to knowledge and skills to manage their wellbeing in order to be the most focused, productive versions of themselves.”

The Wellness Nook Open House is this Wednesday, January 22, 2020, from 4-6pm, with snacks provided. Located in the Memorial Union Room 62.

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