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WWU’s Counseling and Wellness Center hosted Beat the Blues event

The third annual event aimed to promote mental health and winter well-being

Image featuring two head silhouettes, one representing a focused and clear mind, while the other depicts a confused mental state. // Illustration by Sam Fozard

With winter weather in full force, Western Washington University's Counseling and Wellness Center hosted their third annual Beat the Blues event. 

On Jan. 24, students gathered in the Viking Union Multi-Purpose Room to make calming crafts, spend time with therapy dogs, eat nutritious food and learn more about the amenities offered at the Counseling and Wellness Center. 

The gathering aimed to create a sense of community and promote an environment where individuals felt a sense of belonging, according to the Counseling and Wellness Center.

Liz Stuart, coordinator of the event and assistant director at outreach and health promotion, aspires for students to have a space where they feel comforted and truly understood.  

“We hope that they feel uplifted while they’re here,” Stuart said. “We hope that they will walk away with some sort of skills and practices that will boost their resilience with their mental health and well-being into the future.”  

Whether dealing with the feelings of sadness due to the lack of sunlight or not, Western’s  Counseling and Wellness Center offers a wide range of resources. A space is provided for individual and group therapy, substance abuse prevention and survivor support.

“If students don't have resources in their own circle, this is an easy way to make sure you’re doing okay,” Katya Fox, a second-year Western student said. “Even if you're not spiraling, or doing bad, this is a way to check in.”

Greg D’Eloia, therapist at Free Range Mental Health clinic, stated that patients can struggle in various aspects of life during the winter. 

“During the winter, people can really struggle at full-capacity at work, school, in their social life and in their family relationships, it can really make functioning nearly difficult in every important life domain,” D’Eloia said. 

Stuart emphasized that one of the best ways to alleviate these struggles is by building connections with other students and finding new activities to participate in. 

“There's something for everyone here at Western. That is the biggest thing that will uplift your well-being — by having that sense of belonging,” Stuart said. 

If you were unable to attend the Beat the Blues event and are interested in participating in an activity for self-improvement, the Counseling and Wellness Center is collaborating with Western Makerspace for a self-care-focused event. WWU Makerspace is a place where students have the creative freedom to build projects with the use of tools such as laser cutters and 3D printers. 

The Give Yourself Some of That Self Love event was held on Feb. 14 at Ross Engineering Technology Building. When attending this event, students were provided with materials to make personalized gifts such as tote bags and laser engraved buttons. 

To stay up to date with events put on by the Counseling and Wellness Center and gain access to therapy and support groups, you can join their weekly email list by visiting their website. You can also follow their Instagram to find out more about educational events that are happening this quarter.

Melody Marichalar

Melody Marichalar (she/her) is working for The Front as a campus life reporter this quarter. She is a third-year student majoring in news/editorial and minoring in Spanish. In her free time, you can find Melody reading, going outside and thrifting. 

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