GVSU to host Wellness Summit

GVL / Courtesy -  gvsu.edu

GVL / Courtesy – gvsu.edu

Tasman Mattox

The upcoming Grand Valley State University Wellness Summit invites students to be focused on health this semester. Various departments and initiatives on campus will be presenting health strategies for students, faculty and staff on Tuesday, Feb. 13, from 11 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The event will be held on the Pew Campus in the DeVos Center, Building C. 

The Wellness Summit is spearheaded by the Health and Wellness Task Force, which includes staff from all different areas of GVSU. 

“We come together and meet quarterly to make sure there is a comprehensive strategy and focus around health and well-being for students, faculty and staff,” said Lindsey DesArmo, GVSU’s Health and Wellness manager and co-chair of the task force. 

The event gives each department a chance to showcase their goals. 

“We’re excited to get out of the Rec Center to show who we are and what we do,” said Amy Campbell, associate director of Campus Recreation and co-chair alongside DesArmo. “It’s fun for us to put on an event of this scale. We’re curious and excited to be present on the downtown campus.”

Many of the university’s health-related resources will be showcased at the Wellness Summit. Students will be able to get flu shots, depression screenings and talk to Campus Dining dietitians. 

“I think our hope is that attendees will walk away knowing about a resource or something that can help improve our health or well-being,” Campbell said. 

The Summit will also help give students a sense of what wellness really is. 

“Wellness is certainly not limited to just diet and exercise, and I think we’ve done a good job of expanding on wellness,” said Michelle Dawes, visiting professor of biomedical sciences. “The summit lets people’s personal stories be told, and it lets students, faculty and staff become more aware.” 

Dawes will be giving a presentation at the Wellness Summit on workplace wellness. 

“The motivation behind it really was my own story related to a pain I was having while working on a computer after conversations I’ve had with my physical therapist and chiropractor learning that my positioning at my desk might be a large player in my symptoms,” Dawes said. “The more research I did, the more I realized a lot of people probably experience the same things and haven’t given it much thought.”

There are many takeaways students can gain from spending time focusing on their wellness.

“Self-care needs to be a priority for many individuals,” Campbell said. “Many students and faculty put things before their own self-care. It could be as simple as more sleep; taking time to be active; or being preventative, like going to the doctor and getting a flu shot.”

DesArmo encourages students to take time in their personal journey. 

“It’s okay to go slow or tackle small things,” DesArmo said. “It doesn’t have to be a huge grandiose goal. It can be small, daily things you do that can add up to live a healthier life. And don’t compare yourself to others; what works for someone else doesn’t necessarily work for you.”