By Zofia Traczkowska | October 24, 2022
Photo Credit: Stock Images
The University at Albany is working towards taking a new public health approach to support and promote its student’s well-being. This new approach will offer a variety of holistic and
education-based programs that address topics such as mental and emotional health,
relationships with substances, and sexual health.
The Office of Health Promotion (OHP) is the new addition to the university’s list of resources that is offered on campus and will be ready to unveil in the upcoming spring semester.
Kelly Gorman, the Director of the Office of Health Promotion, has been hired to lead the office
with two other professionals in the psychology and public health fields, Dr. Laura Longo, and
Natalie Sumski, MPH, respectively. Furthermore, the Office of Health Promotion is hiring two
more full-time positions to be filled by professionals with a focus on sexual violence prevention and mental health promotion.
“Some students experience difficulties that really can be addressed with new skills, information, and tools that can be provided by work like that done through OHP,” Dr. Karen Sokolowski, a psychologist and the Director of Counseling and Psychological Services said. “Improved ability to navigate aspects of health, education, relationships, and life may be exactly what many students need.”
The Office of Health Promotion will be holding workshops covering different topics such as food-body relationships, mental health, sexual violence prevention, sexual health promotion and substance-related programs to educate students, Gorman said.
The OHP also plans on working with faculty on how to better their class environments for
students’ health and pushing more recreational activities to help students with their mental well-being. According to Gorman, small changes like setting a class assignment to be due at 5 p.m. rather than midnight is health promotion, as it discourages students from missing out on sleep by staying up late.
The Office of Health Promotion will be hosting table events on campus closer to the spring semester to get their name out to students. The office also plans on working with a
number of clubs and organizations on campus to educate students on the new office and how they can take advantage of the resources available to them.