Health center branches out on campus with interdepartmental wellness app

Jared Crain, Campus Carrier Deputy News Editor

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The Health and Wellness Center has created a new multi-faceted app, currently named “Berry College,” that addresses personal and public health. Specifically, it emphasizes seven different dimensions that characterize a healthy lifestyle.

Senior Hannah Rivers, who works in the Health and Wellness Center and contributed to the creation of the app, explained that the department wanted to expand the idea of student health beyond just physical illness. 

“The goal was to create something that was interdepartmental and would teach students about health,” Rivers said. “There are a lot of things that come together to create this overall picture of health, and so we have come up with the seven dimensions of wellness.”

The seven dimensions emphasized within the new app are character, nutrition, physical, academic, emotional, spiritual and social health. Each of these dimensions appears as a separate tab on the home page of the app. Each tab takes the form of a branch on one large interconnected tree, which serves as the emblem for the app.

“The goal was also to break down the dimensions and how Berry as a campus provides resources to establish those (healthy) habits in people,” Rivers said. 

Anita Errickson, director of the Health and Wellness Center, explained that the many branches and facets of the app play into how each individual is doing as a whole person and as a member of the community.

“You can place all the information you want in one location, everything to do with Berry College from fitness to what’s in D-hall today,” Errickson said. “There are many different elements to health and wellness, and all the different branches play into it at some level.”

While much of the campus-wide information included in the app is made known in some form or another to the general public, the app allows for all wellness-related issues and activities to be accessed in a single spot.

“We wanted it to be easily accessible at the touch of our fingertips,” Rivers said. “It’s all in one place where students can easily find out what’s going on and how they can get more involved.”

While the app is primarily informational, there are also some interactive features that allow for more campus involvement with regard to the all-encompassing idea of health. For instance, on the nutritional branch, a tab called “My Diet” calculates student calorie input for the day. Another tab on the social branch called “Roll Call” allows students to post pictures of what’s going on around campus and in the community.

According to Debbie Heida, vice president of student affairs and dean of students, not only does the app make it easier to become involved in wellness-related activities, but it also makes trips to see nurses easier and more organized at the click of a few buttons.

“One of the biggest things that I hope will drive students to the app is the ability to make an appointment at the Health and Wellness Center,” Heida said. “We hope that that’s a huge improvement in how students experience the place.”

According to Errickson, the app still has a few bugs that need fixing, but it is already up and running, and the developer should have it glitch-free very soon.

The “Berry College” app is currently available for download in the App Store for both Apple and Android.

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