Free massages are available to SLCC students. Students who are currently registered for classes at SLCC can receive a free, one hour massage per semester.
The Health and Wellness Services at SLCC has licensed massage therapists on staff. This massage is offered to all students who are coping with stress, dealing with sore muscles, or simply just want a free massage.
But that’s not the only thing Health and Wellness Services offers. They also provide students with a medical clinic, counseling services and health education.
Tatiana Burton is Health Promotion Manager of the Health and Wellness Services.
“Most students are unaware of everything we offer [at Health and Wellness Services]. Our massage therapy is definitely the most popular, but not a great amount of students utilize it. We are really working hard to promote the health services this year,” said Burton.
In an informal survey of 20 students on the Taylorsville Redwood Campus, about 70 percent were not aware they could receive a massage from SLCC.
“Part of students’ fee money in tuition is paying for these health services. They should really take advantage of what we offer here,” Burton said.
Massage therapy is most popular at the Health and Wellness Services because, according to Burton, stress is the number one reason students come to the center. On top of massage therapy, the center teaches students how to manage stress.
Students who suffer from stress learn meditation skills, deep breathing techniques and coping mechanisms. Licensed counselors help teach students how to avoid the stressors in their life or change their situations.
Counseling services for students are available free of charge for the first visit and only $10 per session after that. Burton explained that the counselors at the center are available to students for any reason and can talk about anything that they need, even if it isn’t school related.
“People tend to think that those who go to counseling have some sort of a mental health problem. We are trying to debunk that myth. [Students] are not crazy or mentally ill if they want counseling. It is good to get whatever is bothering you out and become emotionally aware,” said Burton.
When life’s stressors and emotions become overwhelming and start to affect functioning at work, home, or school, students should consider seeing a counselor.
According to Burton, a very common cause of stress among students is procrastination. The Health and Wellness Services teaches students time management skills and how to prioritize in order to help overcome this.
“It’s important for students to have a planned schedule and follow it,” said Burton
Marsha Pabalis, a fine arts and life wellness professor at SLCC, agrees that organization is crucial.
“The number one thing is organization. Get a schedule, keep up with it and plan ahead of time.” said Pabalis. “Things go wrong sometimes and that’s where I see most people drop out or not have a good semester. Organization is honestly the most important thing.”
However, that doesn’t mean students should keep a full schedule all of the time. Both Pabalis and Burton stress the importance of students needing to take personal time.
“Make time to socialize and plan some fun,” Pabalis said, “The fun factor is essential.”
“Always remember to take time for yourselves,” said Burton.
Another common reason that students seek information from the Health and Wellness Services is to learn how to eat healthier.
“We see many students who want to eat healthier, be more active or quit smoking,” Burton said. “We provide recipes to students that are both healthy and affordable. We also have a blog on healthy eating and a workshop series will start in the fall here for students to learn more about healthy living.”
Pabalis explained that it helps if students plan and prepare their meals in advance.
“Buy food that is easy to make, but still healthy. Beans, brown rice, asparagus or any foods that are in season are good,” said Pabalis, “Prepare food when you get home and put it in an air tight container so it’s ready when you’re hungry.”
Pabalis tells her students to always carry a water bottle with them, along with healthy snacks like walnuts, almonds or fruit.
“If you have healthy snacks throughout the day, you will be most likely to make better dinner choices once you get home,” said Pabalis, “This also keeps your metabolism up.”
Students can learn more about eating well and overcoming stress at the Health and Wellness Services. Pamphlets are also available at the center concerning everything from physical exercise to anxiety to sexual violence. Go to http://www.slcc.edu/hw for more information.
“[Students should] come to Health and Wellness Services. It’s so friendly and the first visit is free. We are really affordable and can help with anything,” said Burton.