Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) will host a health fair on Wednesday, Oct. 3, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., on the Science Center grounds. The aim of the first annual Harvest of Health Fair is to inform students of the health care resources available to them at HUHS and throughout the Harvard community.
For many students, managing health care may seem too time-consuming, yet studies that measure the benefits of preventive health and the effects of positive emotions on health have shown that early attention to health issues is essential to students’ well-being both in the present and as older adults.
“If students learn good eating, sleeping, exercise, and relaxation habits, and other preventative health measures, and how to ask for help when they’re feeling out of sorts for a period of time, they will have tools that will last them a lifetime,” said David S. Rosenthal, M.D., director of HUHS.
The Harvest of Health Fair will bring health education to the setting of a fairground, in an effort to dissolve any stigma students may feel about accessing care for any aspect of their health.
At tables and booths, health educators will distribute pamphlets and respond to students’ concerns regarding a range of health issues. Information on nutrition, first aid, mental health, sexuality, smoking cessation, and substance abuse, among other topics, will be available.
The fair will also feature mannequins used for resuscitation demonstrations, breast examination models, stress measures, recipes, and free samples.
Staff members will also be on hand to answer students’ questions about health insurance and how to most effectively communicate ideas about the services received at HUHS.
HUHS consistently reviews feedback and input from students and deans who work closely with students, and encourages students and the Harvard community to view each and every initiative toward better health as a sign of responsibility and self-care.
“We have decided to bring health educators to students in a way that is fun, friendly, and approachable,” explained Rosenthal, “and to try to bridge the gap students may feel between their academic goals and their health care goals.”