NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Wellness fair strives to inform community

NECC hosts health and wellness fair for students and faculty

As the warm weather starts coming back and students return from Spring Break most would admit that now they are more stressed out than ever. With only a few weeks left until the semester ends student’s struggle with either remembering with what they’ve learned before the break, trying to catch up in their classes or having the issue of their brains being fried the very first day. But catching up doesn’t seem to be the only issue because with stress comes high blood pressure, sleep troubles and many others.

To help solve this problem, the campus hosted a Health and Wellness fair on March 25, at the Haverhill campus’ Spurk building. The fair consisted of many tables filled with information, faculty and students ready to answer any questions and inform others about how to improve their health. The tables entailed of Coping Skills, Drug and Alcohol Education, Environmental Health, Fitness Assessment (BMI, Body Fat Flexibility), The Fun Side of Medical Coding, Keep Calm You Have High Blood Pressure, Allergies Oral Systemic, Connection Pick a Vein Any Vein, Sleep Disorders and Stress Problems, Stress Management, Title IX Awareness, Transgender Health Program at GLFHC and many others.

In some of the tables there were many NECC students ready to educate. At Sleep Disorders and Problems there was one student in particular eager to answer this reporters’ questions. Jasmin Kirby has been attending NECC since 2014. When Kirby originally started she was majoring in our Early Childhood Education Program inspiring to be a teacher, she was then persuaded to look into Sleep Technology by another student and found a new passion. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. And I think it’s just a really great opportunity to help people and kind of find a way to help them sleep in alternate areas of neurology.” Said Kirby. Because of Kirby’s knowledge in Early Childhood and also in Sleep Technology she now works at Boston Children’s Hospital to help even the little one’s get a good night’s rest.

The fair not only informed NECC students about how to get a good night’s rest but it gave them an opportunity to relax with the help of massage therapist, Bethany LaBelle. LaBelle held a massage section and gave the students some very helpful skills on what to do when they are stressed. LaBelle is actually an NECC Alumni who still comes to the campus during Health Fairs to educate students on the importance of taking care of your body physically and spiritually. “It’s like I tell my clients you don’t take your car out and run it till it has no oil in it and it seizes the engine. Our bodies are very similar. So more eastern medicine or holistic medicine teaches us things, even meditation or proper body mechanics or relaxation techniques teaches us how to prepare ourselves mentally and then that exhumes out every aspect of our body.” LaBelle explains. With 20 plus years of experience LaBelle now owns Serenity Massage in North Andover and informed students on tips and trick son what to do when there’s too much going on. Practicing deep breathing and mediation before bed and after you wake up, really taking the time to slow down relaxing your breath and body movements to release all of the day to day tension. During the interview LaBelle mentioned that many students even now some children don’t know how to take a deep breath and slow down so she was happy to demonstrate to them the techniques in order to take care of themselves.

While most of the fair was to teach students the importance of taking care of themselves and show them what it would be like if they were considering a career in the health field, there were also a few tables to inform students of the services NECC provides.  One of the tables that was interviewed was Susan Martin, the Director of the Learning Accommodations Center, and Knox, the Disability Specialist at the same Learning Accommodation Center. Marin and Knox explained about the certain services they provide for students who have any kind of special needs of their own. When asked about the services provided Martin explained, “We have disability services management model, so students are assigned a case manager or a disability services specialist and that person becomes their contact at the Learning Accommodation Center.”