Weber State University has many resources for mental health on campus. Several of these organizations — such as the WSU Counseling and Psychological Services Center, Student Wellness, Stress Relief Center and Intermountain Therapy Animals — came together on Mental Health Day on Oct. 22 to bring long-term tools to students and help them know about safe places to go for help.

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(Photo credit: Shianne Johnson)

On average, 80 percent of students reported feeling overwhelmed by their responsibilities as a student, according to collegestats.org. Many factors go into student’s mental health and Weber has resources for every individual student on campus.

Tamara Robinette, the director of this event, said that the counseling center and WSU are seeing that students are struggling more with anxiety, depression, academic issues and mental health. Robinette said they can’t help every student in the counseling center and hosting an event such as this can help students to find other groups on campus that can support them. It also can help students learn coping skills that can last long term that they can take with them.

“I don’t think we are taught mental health wellness,” Robinette said. “This event is to help get some of that education out there; how do you protect your mental health and how do you repair it.”

With many groups and activities during the event, students were able to relieve a little bit of stress and to gain tips that they could apply to their everyday lives.

Amy Blunck feels that college students need to know that reaching out for support is essential. The Wildcats Helping Wildcats program holds a student support group on Thursdays from noon to 1 p.m. in the Student Center, room 167. This group meets together to help students gain coping skills and to talk about why college is hard, Blunck says. The Psychological and Counseling Center also has individual, couple and group counseling that is facilitated by professional counselors.

Psychology 2020, also known as Mental Health Awareness and Advocacy, is a class taught by Blunck in the spring that helps students to recognize someone in distress, listen actively and express empathy and refer them to resources that might be helpful — this also helps to support the Wildcats Helping Wildcats mantra.

The Student Wellness Center is a positive place on campus that can provide a connection to other help across campus as well. One tool that Program Specialist Justin Herbert thinks is important is taking ‘me’ time.

“Finding an hour, at least, every week to spend time doing something they enjoy, whatever that may be,” Herbert said.

Both Herbert and Robinette emphasized the importance of healthy relationships. Not only just romantic but with friends and mentors who can offer support and push you to reach health goals. If you are in a relationship that is toxic or is not suitable for your mental health, Robinette emphasized that it is okay to seek help.

“We get shallow, panicky breathing, and our body follows suit,” Robinette said. “If you’re feeling the tension, you just slow down your breathing, and breath in and out, slow and big and your body automatically responds to that.”

Praciticing breathing is one of the most potent tools she teaches to students.

“They already have succeeded, a lot!” Robinette added.

She wishes she could show students that they can do hard things. Robinette says we often forget our wins, and our losses overrule our thoughts. She feels that if students could realize how far they have come, they would know they can do it again.

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