Something as simple as petting a mini-horse can help take away stress and ultimately improve one’s mental health.
The Building Resilience and Voicing Empathy program welcomed students to the annual Healthy Minds Fair on campus on Wednesday, Nov. 2 in an attempt to rid students of stress. The fair also aimed at promoting awareness of student and community resources that people can rely on to assist in suicide prevention.
Clubs and organizations set up individual stands where they could offer information about their programs and how students can use them as a resource.
“It’s great being able to show students what’s available to them,” Ian Vincent, an event coordinator, said. “Students tend to forget what resources are available to them and it’s nice being able to get everyone together and promote the event all as one.”
It’s helpful for students to take time to consider our mental health and well-being through de-stressing, but also suicide prevention and the other opportunities they have here.”
Angie Ritchey, director of Family and Young People Ministries
Along with spreading awareness of their services, each stand offered a different activities like coloring, petting therapy animals, origami, an interactive labyrinth or a 15 minute massages, all designed to reduce stress and increase mental wellness.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness, a club on campus, set up a stand that gave away free homemade cookies with important facts about suicide prevention written on their wrappers.
“Our stand was about ending the stigma for mental illnesses,” Jana Freeman, vice president of the N.A.M.I. club, said. The stands are designed to help students calm down, since stress is one of the leading causes for mental illness, Freeman said.
Several flyers were handed out at the event that provided students with background information on the organizations they met with. Emergency numbers were also listed on the flyers in case students were ever faced with suicidal thoughts, or were concerned about friends who may be suicidal.
“We have literature and resources on our table that we encourage people to look through,” Mary Richards, Forefront organizer, said. “If you’re feeling suicidal or struggling with mental health issues, then there are tons of resources on campus and programs that provide the tools to help.”
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people that are between the ages of 20 and 24, according to Prevention and Wellness Services.
“It’s helpful for students to take time to consider our mental health and wellbeing through de-stressing, but also suicide prevention and the other opportunities they have here.” Angie Ritchey, director of Family and Young People Ministries, said. “The overarching theme of this event is to help people find ways to be healthy both emotionally and mentally.”
Here are mental health resources from Western’s Building Resiliency and Voicing Empathy program:
- WWU Counseling Center, Old Main 540 (360)-650-3164
- WWU Student Health Center, Campus Services Bldg. (36)-650-3400
- Prevention and Wellness Services, Old Main 560 (360)-650-2993
- ADCAS (360)-3642
- CASAS (360)-3700
- WWU Office of Student Life, Viking Union 506 (360)-650-3706
- Dean of Students, Viking Union 547 (360)-650-3775
- Disability Resources for Students, Old Main 120 (360)-650-3083
- Student Outreach Services, Old Main 387 (360)-650-7443
Off Campus Crisis Lines:
- Community Crisis Line 1-800-584-3578
- National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255
- Ayuda en Espanol 1-888-628-9454
- Trevor Project: Preventing Suicide Among Gay Youth 1-866-488-7386
- Veterans Crisis Line (Press 1) 1-800-273-8255