Wingate University students will put their newfound knowledge to work this week to help create a healthier community. The University’s Mental Health and Wellness Event, set for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at East Elementary School, is the first of two mobile health fairs designed to make services more accessible to local families while giving students a chance to take what they’ve learned in the classroom out into the field. Attendees at the event can be screened for depression, have their blood pressure checked and take advantage of a range of other services at booths manned by Wingate health sciences students and representatives from local organizations. The University’s Wellness Van, donated to Wingate in 2018 and supported by BlueCross and BlueShield of North Carolina, will be featured.
“When we say Wingate is a laboratory of difference making, this is exactly what we’re talking about: aligning the talents and expertise of our faculty, staff and students with the needs in our community, while at the same time creating opportunities for academic pursuits,” said Catherine Wright, director of Wingate’s new Collaborative for the Common Good. “We are leveraging so many talents on campus and working alongside our community partners, who are eager to work together and are passionate about health care.” She said the University based plans for the upcoming event on feedback from its Nov. 16 Health and Wellness Fair, which drew 700 people to Monroe Middle School. “One of the things we learned from surveys at that event is that families are most comfortable receiving services at schools, places where they routinely already go,” Wright said. “We also learned that mental health and wellness was a primary need.” At Thursday’s event, Wingate occupational therapy students will offer self-esteem-building activities. Physical therapy students will address sleep health, and future physician assistants will offer depression education and screenings.
by Luanne Williams
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