By Jacob Barber
This week the SAVE Project and Personal Counseling Office hosted a different event each day on the main quad to commemorate National Mental Health Awareness Week.
Monday was entitled “Turn your Lemons into Lemonade,” where the group gave away complimentary lemonade and advised students on the importance of positive thinking and properly combatting worry. On Tuesday, students were told “get it off your chest” and were able to anonymously leave a note with a worry or fear to be shredded at the end of the day.
Wednesday, students could receive free chocolate as a reminder that “stressed spelled backwards is desserts,” along with stress-reduction tips.
Finally, Thursday, students were offered free sleep masks and earplugs in addition to information on healthy sleep.
“What we’re trying to do is raise awareness,” said Miranda Carlee, a junior psychology major from Chelsea and a peer educator with the SAVE Project.
“By being out here on the quad with students seeing these things as they pass by, it’s just creating the awareness to let people know that mental illness is something that’s important and it’s something that a lot of people are suffering from.”
She believes promoting awareness of mental health is important because there are a lot more students dealing with it than some might think. She hopes that students will participate in these events, and that the events will promote awareness.
“It is an issue on college campuses. It’s something that affects a lot of people around the world, but I think it’s important for college students to be involved in these kinds of things just so they can be aware and so we can help them with something they might be dealing with,” Carlee said.
“Even if it’s not a mental illness, we can help them with something they’re dealing with this week.”
In order to promote mental health, there are several behaviors Carlee suggests.
“Have a positive attitude. Try to reduce your stress if you can. Something I like to do is make sure I find time—even if it’s 15-30 minutes a day—find time for yourself to do something you enjoy,” Carlee said.
“Even if it’s just 30 minutes of watching your favorite TV show to kind of relax yourself and remove that stress.”
“Try to keep yourself healthy by exercising, eating healthy and just taking care of yourself,” Carlee said.
The SAVE Project and Personal Counseling Office provide free confidential counseling and mental health screening to students. They can be reached by phone at (334) 670-3700 and by email at email@example.com.