By Saundrine Lanouette
Olatoyosi Akinrotimi is passionate about her work and the work the Wellness Center puts in to provide the best services for students, faculty and staff.
Akinrotimi is no stranger to the health and wellness business. She attended the City Colleges before transferring to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she received her bachelor’s and master’s degree.
Akinrotimi’s interest in public health had her working at a nonprofit clinic out of college before she came to HWC where she works with students, faculty, and staff.
“I was working in the clinical setting with patients so it was different coming here working with students but the overall focus is the same, health education, [and] health promotion,” she said.
As the Wellness Center coordinator, Akinrotimi keeps busy during the day in Room 1041 planning events for HWC.
“My primary duty is to coordinate outreach events centered around health and wellness for students. We like to reach the staff and facility as well but the major focus is on students,” she said.
“The focus [of the Wellness Center] is to provide mental health and social services to students to support their personal well-being and academic success. One of the biggest things that we offer is counseling. We have about nine interns, a clinical psychologist on staff as well as the Wellness Center manager who is a certified social worker,” she said.
The Wellness Center also offers referrals to community resources for basic needs.
“Although we are not a clinical setting to provide medical care, we can refer people to the different services in the community. We have a huge resource list, very comprehensive and we try to make sure that people get connected,” she said.
Support groups, workshops, evaluations for learning disabilities also takes place in the Wellness Center.
This spring, students can take advantage of the four new support groups that will be taking place; “Empower”, a women’s support group, a creative writing workshop to allow students to express themselves through art, meditation Monday’s, and the understanding self and others support group to help students understand themselves and build healthy relationships.
“All of our services are free and confidential,” Akinrotimi said. “We have a bulletin board on the first floor so all the flyers and information about different events going on during the semester would be on the bulletin board.”
The Wellness Center accepts walk-ins and appointments. It is located in Room 1041 and open Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.