Kean Wellness Center Welcomes University Community to Expanded Services
Kean University has expanded its wellness offerings for the new school year, opening a refurbished Kean Wellness Center and introducing Uwill, a free telehealth mental health counseling service for students.
The Kean Wellness Center, located in Downs Hall, cut the ribbon on its renovated space at the Wellness Expo on Wednesday, September 13.
The freshly renovated facility is now more welcoming with redesigned spaces for both group counseling and private consultation, and it features improvements such as a new automated system, lockers and refrigeration units for Cougar Pantry, the campus food pantry.
“We’re working to bring the different dimensions of health and wellness together,” said Genique Stanislaus, executive director of the Kean Wellness Center. “Some students will come in and say they didn’t know we have certain resources on campus. We have worked to get the word out that we are ready to help.”
The Kean Wellness Center includes Kean’s Student Health Services; Alcohol and Other Drug Services; Accessibility Services; Cougar Pantry; the Counseling Center and Uwill.
Through Uwill, students can access counselors immediately through the online platform, schedule teletherapy sessions, and get information about yoga, mindfulness and other methods of dealing with issues. Uwill is part of a statewide initiative announced by Gov. Phil Murphy in May.
All of the services were highlighted at the Wellness Expo. As music from speakers played, people visited tables manned by the Kean Counseling Center, the Union County Office of Health Management and others involved in supporting wellness. Attendees were able to get skin care advice, obtain free flu shots, and spend time with therapy dogs.
Jerome Hatfield, Kean senior vice president of Integrated Health, Safety and Response Services, said he was pleased that so many members of the campus community attended the event.
“It’s great that people are able to see what resources are available,” Hatfield said. “The Kean Wellness Center is an important piece of our University’s concept of supporting wellness.”
Several students said they were drawn into Downs by the music and liked the services they saw.
“I love how warm and welcoming this community is!” gushed one Kean freshman, who stopped at the expo with her roommate.
Carla Vitola, community care coordinator, oversees Cougar Pantry, the Career Closet and other services. She said the Cougar Pantry, which served 150 food insecure students last semester, will see an increase this semester with the improvements.
“The assumption is that if college students are living on campus, they’re ok,” Vitola said. “But what happens if your 20-hours-a-week job doesn’t cut it? What happens if you run out of meal swipes? To assume people are secure is inaccurate. The service here is necessary.”