Over 200 West Chester students attended the event sponsored by the Office of Wellness Promotion and the Counseling Center called “Check Up From the Neck Up” on Wednesday, Sept. 20.
This event was hosted in the Sykes Student Union with the goal of outreaching to students and exposing them to West Chester University’s mental health resources.
Director of the Office of Wellness Promotion, Sherry Mendez, hopes that the event will help the students on the WCU campus reach a healthy emotional state.
Sophomore Rebekah Silar believes that mental health is “if you’re okay with yourself and you feel good about your life…you don’t want to be in a place you hate your life every single day.”
Mendez said the purpose of the event was, “to really improve the existence of students so that way they can succeed in their classes and in their daily lives.”
Academic and Mindfulness Coach with the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities, Mary Schlosbon, said, “It’s important as professionals to really preach the importance of [mental health] to students, so I think that’s why this event that we have going on, on campus right now is great.”
During the event, many students chose to participate in taking an anonymous mental health questionnaire. From there, it is up to the students to decide whether or not to get the help that they need.
“At any given time maybe 50 percent or more of our students assess positively…and so whether or not they choose to revitalize the resources from here is completely up to them,” said Mendez. “We do not know how students are but at least there is that positive, they’re given the resources.”
WCU has resources on campus focused on helping students stay healthy.
“Our office is trying to offer all sorts of resources just to help with student mental health,” said Schlosbon. “A major aspect of trying to contribute to mental health for students is offering mindfulness programs so we’re just offering meditation sessions for students to kind of de-stress and step away from all the stress of college.”
Meanwhile the Counseling Center offers counseling and therapy sessions to all WCU students. Additionally, Mendez said of the Office of Wellness Promotion that it “is really about promoting student wellness. Whether it’s related to health, time management, stress management or sexual health.”
Mendez feels that the beginning of the semester is “a really great time to assess what are your stressors and what can you do to minimize those stressors.”
Mendez advises all students to “get to know what the resources are, utilize the resources, talk to your professors… now is the time to ask for help.”
This is not the only event to be held this year focused on mental health. The Office of Wellness Promotion will be holding a “Turkey Trot” in November and will be partnering with the Center for Women and Gender Studies for various events such as “No Shame November.”
After the event concluded, junior student and President of To Write Love On Her Arms, Vanessa Clark, said, “that it helps them realize that they can go out and get help and that it’s not weird to do it [and it doesn’t make] you a bad person.”
Erin McFeeters is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. She can be reahced at EM857951@wcupa.edu.