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Nurture Your Health and Wellbeing at Student Health and Wellness

Charlotte Milone

Study spaces in SHWThis October marks the one-year anniversary of the new Student Health and Wellness (SHW) building. Now, more than ever, is a great time to bring attention to all the things that you didn’t know about student health. At this point, most students are aware that Medical Services, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), and the Student Disability Access Center (SDAC) are located here, however, did you know that there are many other amenities implemented within this space that can promote your health and wellbeing?

For starters, each floor of the building is designed to model different elements of nature, such as water, earth, and the sky. Research demonstrates the strong benefits of this design that implements biophilia, a term that translates to “a love of living things” in Greek, in practice, meaning: connecting humans with nature to promote their wellbeing (Stouhi, 2020). The integration of nature into the interior of the building creates a space that quite literally boosts mental wellbeing. Utilizing the study spaces and waiting areas surrounded by plants and art that imitates nature is always a rejuvenating part of my day.

Study spacesNow, if you’re looking for a place to relax and unwind, the reflection rooms and wellbeing suite on the first floor are the place to be. These are some of my favorite spaces in the building, where I can meditate, nap, or just get some quiet time. If you’re like most college students and are in a rut with meal ideas, or if you simply don’t know where to start, then you should look into the Teaching Kitchen! The Teaching Kitchen is home to the Hoo’s Cooking nutrition education and culinary skills classes. As someone who has had the opportunity to be an aid in the kitchen for a few classes, I can vouch that the cooking experience and the dinners that come with it are worthwhile. These classes are a fun way to pick up a few skills in the kitchen and learn about affordable, nutritious meal options—all while getting a delicious meal out of it!

Art Therapy RoomFinally, of the most popular spaces for students, whether studying or just hanging out, is the student lounge areas located on the third floor. There are many features integrated into this open, quiet space that promote wellbeing. The noise-cancelling egg chairs and the art therapy room are tied for my favorite.

Though relatively new, SHW is a comfortable and safe place to not only seek care but to connect with others and check in with yourself. SHW is open Monday through Friday, with office services available from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. However, students can easily swipe into the building with their IDs after hours and use these incredible spaces until 2:00 a.m.

Stouhi, D. (2020, November 12). Bringing the outdoors inside: The benefits of biophilia in architecture and interior spaces. ArchDaily. Retrieved September 11, 2022. 

Charlotte Milone
About the Author: 

Charlotte Milone is a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in psychology with a minor in health and wellbeing. She is currently one of the marketing and peer relations interns for the UVA Peer Health Educator program and is passionate about fostering a community of care that supports students' mental and physical health.