iHealth Promotes Well-Being

Marlin Agoub/Photography Intern

The iHealth Fair is held every year during the third week of fall quarter to help new students get acclimated to the abundance of resources that are available on campus with an emphasis toward a healthy mind and body. This year the iHeath Fair, put on by the Student Health Education Center, took place in the Pacific Ballroom at the Student Center on Oct. 12 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Last Wednesday, the Student Center was decorated with brightly-colored balloons and vivid banners reading “4th annual iHealth Fair” in pink, turquoise and purple.

As many students passed by, the few who followed the arrows to the first floor of the Student Center found a haven of freebies from Student Services and local businesses at the annual iHealth Fair.

“Really, the whole idea behind iHealth is to try to be one of the vital applications for students and to invite all of our partners within the community to show students that these are all resources you may need,” said Jasmine Blackburn, coordinator of the iHealth Fair. “You need to stay well so you can focus on your goals of graduating and moving on to even greater things.”

The fair featured a variety of booths with information about healthy eating, counseling services and group exercise activities. Upon entering, students were handed a goodie bag filled with AXE, Garnier Frutis products and a brochure listing information regarding each booth.

In order to boost student involvement, the iHealth Fair featured a raffle in which students could win gift cards to local businesses or amusement park tickets. To enter the raffle, students needed to visit at least five booths and have a brochure stamped to ensure they had received information on that particular resource.

With more than 32 different booths, ranging from puppy therapy to breast cancer awareness, students had little trouble finding useful and fun information to increase their chances of winning.

“We try to make it interactive,” Blackburn said. “We encourage all of our participants to do something that’s more than just pamphlets on the table, and that’s definitely what’s going on today.”

One organization that stood out was UC Irvine’s branch of Recording Artists Against Drunk Driving (RADD), which advocates alcohol awareness. At the iHealth Fair, RADD supplied free mai tai and mojito  “mocktails” served on a napkin that read, “Here’s One Stranger It’s OK to Leave With.”

RADD informed students of their partnership with local bars and clubs to offer free non-alcoholic drinks and discounted entry to those volunteering as the designated driver for the night, making sobriety an appealing incentive for going out.

Additionally, relationships and sexual health appeared to be major themes of the iHealth Fair.

The iHealth Fair included stations with the Student Health Center and Planned Parenthood, which supplied information about free contraceptives, STD and HIV-testing and other sexual-health products and services.

New students were surprised to learn testing can be done at the Student Health Center, and free condoms are available for walk-in clients.

“We want to plant the seed so that students recognize that these resources are here for them,”  Blackburn said. “We also hope to be a good hub for folks who are interested in general health and wellness so we tend to get a lot of public health majors.”

For students interested in health science majors or nursing programs, several booths offered information on graduate schools and clubs at UCI that cater toward public health.

For more information, students are advised to contact the Public Health Association or the UCI Nursing Science Student Association.