Written for The Argo by Megan Riordan
On Thursday, September 29th, 2022, the Wellness Center Peer Educators hosted a Healing Through Nature event. The event was designed to display the link between exposure to outdoor spaces and positive mental health, and involved an informational slideshow presentation and Kahoot! Review. It concluded with a nature walk around Lake Fred.
Peer educator Kimberly Myers was responsible for organizing Healing Through Nature and spoke about the thousands of studies that have been done to prove the benefits of spending time in nature. These benefits are both mental and physical and are supported by many biologists, anthropologists, and sociologists. According to Myers, “Fresh air contains phytoncides, which have antifungal and antibacterial properties. This increases white blood cells and increases short-term memory.”
Stockton University offers over 2 miles of trails on campus and a multitude of parks near the campus, such as the Bass River State Forest and the Wharton State Forest, for students to utilize as wellness spaces. “I think that a lot of people don’t necessarily go outside enough. There are more and more studies that are coming out that prove this link between positive mental health and nature,” Myers stated.
Myers, along with all of the Wellness Center peer educators, completed NASPA CPE training in order to be a source for students to navigate health services on campus and work through crises. The Wellness Center provides other resources to assist students with mental health, including a free on-campus psychiatrist.
The Wellness Center is also hosting a beach clean up on November 3rd at the Atlantic City housing student lounge and is offering free flu vaccinations by appointment for students.
For more information regarding the peer educators for the Wellness Center and their events, their OspreyHub page can be found at https://stockton.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/wellness.