October is a month of changing seasons, midterms, Halloween festivities and breast cancer awareness. To add to the list, October is also Mental Health Awareness Month. The Counseling and Psychological Services Center has a variety of presentations and activities throughout the month to raise mental health awareness.
“There’s been a ton of going on this month, and there’s still a lot that’s going to happen,” said Kimber Harding, Student Wellness Center coordinator. “They have a goal-setting seminar on the 21st, meditation on the 23rd, stress management on the 24th, and those are just a few off the top of my head.”
Also among the activities of Mental Health Awareness Month is a health fair at the Davis campus on Tuesday, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
“The Davis Health Fair is being put on by a health promotions and performance class in coordination with many others, such as the Student Wellness Center,” said Jennifer Grandi from Counseling and Psychological Services. “It is a great addition to Mental Health Awareness Month, because wellness is holistic. In order to be well in other aspects of your life, you need to be well mentally. Not only will the health fair show aspects of mental health, but also other aspects of health too, and they all kind of go hand in hand.”
Mental Health Awareness Month not only give students a chance to become more aware of their mental health; it also gives them a chance to take advantage of multiple incentive programs.
“If you attend 20 wellness events, you can get a wellness incentive from the Student Wellness Center, and Counseling and Psychological Services has their own incentive program with punches, and going to a mental health awareness event will count towards both incentive programs,” Harding said.
Nursing major Rebecca Folsom said mental health awareness is important because people’s perception of the world around them is better when they’re mentally healthy.
“If you’re not mentally healthy, your senses aren’t working at their best abilities,” Folsom said. “When you’re mentally healthy and get plenty of sleep and learn different skills to cope with different stressors, etc., it makes every day more positive and meaningful while working towards your highest potential.”
College is a critical time to learn about being mentally healthy and to take advantage of many resources offered.
“It is so important for students to learn skills to cope with their emotions and learn what they’re feeling and how to deal with it,” Harding said. “If you can get things figured out now, they’ll be easier when you’re out of college. Right now your student fees cover free counseling services that will be expensive after graduations.”
While Mental Health Awareness Month is limited to October, there are resources for students to take advantage of all year. WSU offers free meditation groups on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and appointments are available year-round with Counseling and Psychological Services and the Student Wellness Center.
A list of upcoming events for Mental Health Awareness Month is available at www.weber.edu/CounselingCenter/Groups.