EWU and WSU Spokane program helps students focus on wellbeing


Courtesy of the Healthy U Wellness Program.

Students participate in the Healthy U Wellness Fair on Nov. 1, 2018. Katie Gilsdorf (left) and Lindsey Fulton (right) hosted the event at the Spokane Academic Center.

By Emmaline Sylvester, Reporter

Self-care is more than yoga at sunrise and Instagram-worthy gluten-free pasta topped with kale pesto. There are many aspects of wellness that work together to cultivate wellbeing that don’t have to be expensive or timely. Katie Gilsdorf, director of Student Leadership and Involvement on the WSU Spokane campus and Lindsey Fulton, Health Education Coordinator on the EWU Cheney campus, had this in mind in their creation of the Healthy U Wellness program.

Their goal is to promote the primary aspects of personal health including physical, emotional, social and intellectual, with the hope of encouraging students to practice wellness and wellbeing in their own lives.

Twice a semester at the Spokane campus, Healthy U: Discovery Wellbeing fairs have included events ranging from the humane society bringing animals to help students relax during finals week, to a local massage school bringing their students in to offer free 15 minute massages.

Many campus resources are invited to these fairs to spread awareness of their services and how students can utilize them for their own wellness. The campus fitness center has come in to demonstrate quick at-home workouts, the Fresh Plate Cafe and campus pantry have handed out recipes for healthy eating on a dime, the counseling center has come in to help students de-stress during finals week and the financial aid staff has come in to educate students on budgeting. These are just a few of the resources that attend the Healthy U fairs and prepare interactive activities to show students various ways to practice wellness in their own lives.

“I think it is incredibly valuable to have an event where we can make students, especially on the Spokane campus, aware of the resources that they do have available to them,” Fulton said.

Managing and balancing daily responsibilities can be very difficult for busy college students, but Gilsdorf points out that making an effort to develop healthy habits now can help students in the long run.

“I firmly believe that if our students, that are here in the really rigorous programs, can learn to prioritize their own wellbeing here, then it is going to create healthier pathways for them later on when they’re in their careers, growing their families and developing significant relationships,” Gilsdorf said.

The Healthy U fairs are hosted in the lobby of the Spokane Academic Center building and are open to WSU Spokane campus and all EWU students. 

Last fall, the Health, Wellness and Prevention services on the Cheney campus started a program called Wellbeing Coaching. Fulton and health educator coordinator, Laura Gant, met one-on-one with students to coach them through wellness goals including time management, working out, sleep schedule, financial stability etc.

“We let you as the student guide the session and we try to figure out what is important to you,” Fulton said.

“For some people, that balance will look a lot different than other peoples balance,” Gilsdorf said. “You’ll know when you have achieved balance when the different elements of your life fall into place such as your relationships, your study habits and your test scores.”

Sessions, that are covered by your comprehensive student health fee as an EWU student, can be scheduled by emailing [email protected] and more information can be found at https://sites.ewu.edu/bewell/wellbeing-coaching/.•