Wellness Education, Offerings, and Resources


NMH wants you not only to get well when you’ll ill or injured, but also to stay well and thrive.
So we weave wellness opportunities throughout your school experience. Here are some of your choices.

Wellness Course for Ninth Graders

This course is required for all students entering NMH in the ninth grade. Students meet twice weekly for a term, considering topics including wellness definitions, strategies, and campus resources; the teenage brain; nutrition; alcohol, nicotine, and other drugs; gender and sexuality; healthy relationships, consent, and sexual decision making; and reproductive anatomy.

Resources in the NMH community, goal setting, identity development, and healthy decision making are emphasized. Students complete frequent journal reflections, participate in class discussions, and produce group and individual projects.

Wellness-Focused Student Life Seminars for 10th Graders

At NMH, we take seriously our responsibility to help students become responsible, healthy, thoughtful, and compassionate young people. A variety of required Student Life Seminars (SLS) are part of this effort.

Students meet every other week for learning experiences and conversations about the complexity of adolescence and life. Tenth-grade students focus on wellness throughout the year in large- and small-group settings.

Topics have included NMH wellness resources, healthy relationships, consent, the multitasking myth, and laughter yoga, among others.

Peer Education

Peer educators are student leaders who are committed to wellness in their own lives and who act as role models for their peers. These students learn about facets of a healthy lifestyle and share with peers through fun and educational dorm- and school-wide programs. They also work with dorm heads, coaches, and other community members to identify community needs. This is a full-year commitment that receives workjob credit.

Mindfulness for Health and Wellness

The Mindfulness for Health and Wellness co-curricular helps students learn the benefits of mindfulness through the practice of sitting meditation, mindful movement, and other methods for stress reduction.

Students help lead interested members of the community in weekly meditation sessions.

Labyrinth and Contemplative Garden

Nestled next to the Health and Wellness Center is a stone-lined spiral labyrinth path surrounded by greenery.

The garden is as a calm, peaceful retreat for meditation and quiet reflection in nature. The labyrinth is an ancient tool used for contemplation and walking meditation.

Both are always open, though students find these spaces especially useful during stressful times, including final exam season.

Amnesty Box

Just inside the door of the Health and Wellness Center is a plain-looking box labeled “amnesty box.” This is an anonymous, safe, and secure space for students to put items that may violate school rules, such as alcohol, Juuls and cartridges, e-cigarettes, medication, tobacco, and paraphernalia.

This gives our students the opportunity to rid themselves of any temptations that they may regret bringing to campus.

Meditation Space

Our solarium space offers a place for students to rest or meditate. The meditation space is also used by classes for guided instruction and by individual students and faculty members for reflection.

Happy Lights

During the winter months, early-morning exposure to light has been proven helpful for those who experience winter blues, seasonal affective disorder, and insomnia. A few sessions with the “happy lights” can also help reset the disrupted circadian rhythms and sleep cycles associated with jet lag.

By stimulating cells in the retina, the full-spectrum lights mimic bright outdoor light but do not emit harmful UV rays. Parent/guardian permission is needed before students use the happy lights.

Sports Nutrition

In support of our students’ wellness, we have begun hosting sports nutrition talks on campus. In addition to having Elizabeth Devine come to campus to speak to groups, she is also available for individual consultations in her office.

Massage

Students may sign up online for massage sessions by Aleashea Pease, a professional massage therapist with more than 20 years of experience. Sessions may be booked for for Wednesdays and Sundays.

Health and Wellness Information Updates

Health-related information is often included in the biweekly Parent Update e-newsletters and emails sent to students’ families. Recent topics have included vaping and Juuling, talking to your student about 13 Reasons Why, a TV show about teen suicide, and handling stressful situations.

Get in Touch

Amanda Santos Valenzuela ’05
Wellness Education Coordinator
O’Connor Health and Wellness Center
Phone 413-498-3476