College can be rough. While it can be a very exciting time in our lives, it doesn’t come without its problems. College isn’t always about what we learn inside the classroom, but how we can balance everything outside of the classroom – everything as in juggling assignments and studying, work, relationships, matters from home, and trying to prepare ourselves for life after graduation. The reality is that 80% of college students feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities and not surprisingly there has been a rise in mental health issues among college students. While 50% of students have admitted that they have been struggling in school due to anxiety, 40% of those students have failed to actually seek help.
Here at the University Wellness Program, we understand the need for help. We understand that sometimes, as students, we can’t do it all. Because of this, we are introducing Stomp Out Stigma Week! Why is it that while mental health issues are on the rise, few are seeking help? The answer is stigma. Stigma is defined as a negative attitude towards a specific issue among a certain population. Many students believe that they will reap judgement from seeking out counseling or admitting to struggling with a mental illness. While this may be a common belief, studies have shown that our peers will more than likely be supportive if we do seek out help. This entire week, September 28th to October 2nd, is dedicated to raising awareness about these issues and educating students on how they can improve their mental wellness!
SOS Week Kick-Off
When: Monday, 11am – 1pm
This will be a great time for students to learn about our upcoming program for the week! The kick-off will include a lemonade stand, a step team stomp out by the Coalition Crew, lantern decorating, and of course, the therapy dogs!
When: Monday, 5:30 – 6:45pm
Where: RAC Spin Room
Girl Power is a spin class dedicated to the empowerment of women. This is a celebration of taking back the power from social norms of being a female!
When: Tuesday, 7 – 9pm
Where: William’s Center
We are all fairly familiar with the science behind depression and other emotional illnesses, however do we know the science behind happiness? Come watch a short documentary titled, “Happy,” and then participate in a panel discussion with counselors from our very own Counseling Center on campus.
When: Wednesday, 11am – 1pm
Where: Russell Union Lobby
Students will be able to participate in Check-up from the Neck-up (a National Depression Screening Day tool), to relax and kick it back old-school with some coloring activities, and find out more about Group Therapy and how to get involved. Therapy dogs will also be there to provide you with lots of love and cuddles!
Shed the Light Walk
When: Thursday, 11:30pm – 12:30am
Where: MC Anderson Park (RAC Pavilion)
The largest event of the week, the Shed the Light Walk, is a chance for students and community members to come out and support those who have been or are still are, victims of a mental health illness. The walk takes place at night and is exactly one mile around the RAC. After the walk is finished, and at the strike of midnight, everyone will be able to release lanterns into the night sky in memory of loved ones! There will also be music and midnight snacks!