Looking back at our students’ efforts during National Public Health Week 2015

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Earlier this year, the Stempel Public Health Association of the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work and Student Health Services at Florida International University collaborated in a series of events for the National Public Health Week , promoting the NPHW theme ‘Healthiest Nation by 2030.’ On Monday, April 6, the SPHA, Counselling and Psychological Services and SHS hosted a tabling event on Mental Health, providing information on different mental health issues; nutritious food that supports  cognitive functions; and  all the mental health services provided by the university to its students. SPHA students compiled relevant data and statistics on the prevalence of stress; depression and other mental health issues, and these were communicated to passers-by through games and quizzes. On Tuesday, April 7, the event was titled, “Train. Sweat. Repeat,” where the emphasis was on the importance of physical fitness and working out. In this outdoor event, there were actual demonstrations on physical exercise, by trained SHS personnel. Naturally, healthy eating was emphasized in the next event that took place on Wednesday, April 8. Dietitians interacted with attendees and discussed appropriate portion sizes; how an ideal/optimal plate should look like, and what we are lacking or consuming in excess in our daily diet. Cooking demonstrations were given and samples of healthy, yet simple to prepare food items were provided.

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The focus of Thursday’s event was sexual health, with a presentation on HIV and AIDS prevention “It Takes a Village”. This was followed by a presentation and discussion about the risks and prevention of Human Papilloma virus infection. On the last day of the NPHW, Friday, April 10, there was a presentation by SHS entitled, “Dangerous Love: Love Shouldn’t Hurt,” on healthy and unhealthy relationships, followed by a talk by a survivor of unhealthy relationships and a  panel discussion, involving faculty and students from FIU, on relationship health. The Victim Empowerment Program also played an active part in this session on relationship health, which was one of the events, organized by FIU Student Affairs in late March through mid-April, during the Sexual Assault Awareness month.

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Author: William-Jose Velez

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