The new Mills Wellness Resource Center opened its doors to students for the first time on Monday, April 2.
Housed in the Chapel lounge, the center is the merging of Health, Counseling and Psychological Services, Services for Students with Disabilities, Spiritual and Religious Life and the Institute for Civic Leadership.
Together, the five divisions offer the center a variety of books, videos and other materials covering wellness topics.
According to Jess Miller, director of services for students with disabilities, the main purpose of the service is to “address the needs of the whole person.”
Dorian Newton, director of Counseling and Psychological Services, elaborated.
“We envision the Wellness Resource Center as an integral part of our mission, which is to assist students in the development of life skills necessary to enhance their personal wellness and ability to be successful in the intellectual, physical, emotional, social, occupational and spiritual aspects of their lives,” she said.
While resources are still limited at this stage, the Wellness Center currently offers a variety of books, CDs and newsletters, among other media. Topics include women’s health, women’s sexuality, Eastern thought, death and dying, alternative healing and issues relevant to the queer community.
The Wellness team hopes to continue to build the collection.
Cynthia Turner said that the center will raise campus awareness about self care.
Turner said that she hopes the resources will help students “think positively about their health and think about the prevention of illness.”
Turner said that health includes eating well, exercising and getting sleep at night.
As for disability resources, Miller said that the Wellness center offers materials that appropriately relate disability with wellness.
“Disability is not a life situation that needs to be fixed or cured, so you want to be careful how you connect it to wellness,” she said. “We have books by women with disabilities speaking about their lives.”
Along with readily available materials, the center includes a list of books that students may use as a guide and find online or at bookstores.
Junior Margee Churcheon, chapel programs assistant, said that the Chapel lounge is an ideal setting for the center. “The lounge is a relaxing place with a beautiful view of trees and nature.
The books, tapes and CDs provided by the center can be easily enjoyed in such an environment,” she said.
Churcheon will help staff the center as it gains recognition on campus.
Along with providing resources, the center will be used to host three to four wellness workshops each semester.
This year’s first workshop, Finding Balance, was to be held on April 28 but was canceled due to a lack of participants.
“It’s hard to find a time that works best for people,” said Miller, organizer for the event.
She added that this workshop will be offered again next semester along with a workshop on body image and another workshop on relationships.
The directors of the Wellness center encourage students to provide feedback on the materials they would like to see added to the center, as well as any additional resources, such as guest speakers, that they would like to have available.
“We want students to tell us, what does wellness look like for them?” said Turner.
The Wellness Center hours for the spring semester are Monday from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. and Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.