Healthy Minds Fair provides mental health outreach services
Associated Students clubs, mental health services and off-campus organizations came together to provide an outreach for students and staff at the Healthy Minds Fair on Oct. 31 in the Viking Union Multi-Purpose Room.
This is the third year of the Healthy Minds Fair hosted by the WWU Men’s Resiliency and WWU Suicide Prevention Program. The event is focused on creating a space that supports health and happiness, as well as providing knowledge and resources to help students with mental health issues.
Men’s resiliency specialist Ian Valencia works at the counseling center and helps put on this yearly event.
“My goal is to help with people who have mental health issues, encourage students to come and see us and bring more awareness to the resources around us,” Valencia said. “Mental health affects everything, especially the body, it’s probably one of the most neglected forms of our health today,” he said.
With 26 booths to visit, there was a variety of focus. The event included everything from free massages and food to a therapy dog, as well as a plethora of information on mental health services that are available to all students.
Unikque Thibou, a fitness attendant at the Wade King Student Recreation Center, was tending a booth for an organization called First Step. First Step is a program on campus that provides free personal trainers and focuses on setting goals and starting a fitness program that works for each individual to sustain a healthy and active lifestyle.
“I think mental health is important because your mental well-being should be just as intact as your physical well being, they are equally important,” Thibou said. “Taking advantage of the outreaches around us is also super important.”
Throughout the event, many students found themselves eating cookies, petting the therapy dog and chatting together. Freshman Willa Morgan heard about the event from her mother and decided to go.
“I really wanted to pet the dog,” Morgan said. “I also wanted to see what is here that I didn’t know about yet because I knew of some resources, but they’re all here now.”