Mental health check in’s brought back
Donovan Wilson – Reporter
COVID-19 has heightened mental health issues, which are already bad for college students.
Last Thursday, the university put on a mental health check-in, which is a workshop open to students where mental health can be discussed and tools to help with mental health are shared. This workshop was put on by the University Access Program and their Counseling Program Out-reach. These events have been run in the past and just now brought back due to popular demand.
“I picked this week to bring this back because it was supposed to be spring break so I figured we should check in,” said Kyle Augustine, the host.
To kick and settle everyone in, a video was played about the mental impact of COVID-19. The video focused on the story of a woman with OCD whose mental state has gotten even worse dur-ing COVID-19 due to her heightened germaphobic.
This video tied everything together as a solid introduction, as much of the conversation focused on each individual’s mental health relationship with COVID-19.
Augustine hosted a Mentimeter poll to gather answers from the audi-ence and spur conversa-tion about how everyone’s lives are going right now. The first question focused on how everyone feels mentally right now and the general consensus is that they are feeling hap-py but also overwhelmed with everything going on right now. The second question focused on how the audience copes with stress and the general consensus was that physical activity is what has been creating mental relief for a lot of students and staff during the pandemic.
“It takes up to four weeks to get an appointment, because clients we would only see during a crisis and move on can’t move on anymore be-cause the crisis is now ongoing,” said Randolph Brooks, a member of the panel.
There was also a focus on discussing two sepa-rate mental health tools students can use. The first one is a nationally renowned service known as To Write Love On Her Arms which focus-es on creating a general uplifting message and providing resources to lift people’s spirits. This organization has been around for a very long time and was originally inspired by a large volume of self-harm rising in the alternative community.
The other app tool mentioned was Libera-tion. It is a meditation app that works much in the way of apps like Calm but it focuses entirely on peo-ple of color and liberating them in ways that tailor to the issues they go through day to day. Obviously, there are many resources like the aforementioned Calm that can be used by anyone that will provide the same results and help to relax your mind at the end of the day.
“When it comes to how we’re feeling right now mentally, what’s important to remember is what are the things we can control and what are the things that we can’t,” said Niasia Mercado, member of the panel.
The closing section of this workshop was dedicated to thanking everyone for coming and celebrating the fact that we’re here and working through it. All the students who attended were offered goodie bags that contained water, juice and snacks to ensure students are properly taking care of themselves.
The bag also contained a thank you note to show the department’s appreciation for students continued support. The students pick up the goodie bags in the departments office as this event was not in person.