Monday, November 28, 2022

Normalizing mental health on campus with Mental Health Awareness Week

November 15, 2022

This week, MSU students can join a Zumba workout at Jenison, meet Zeke the Wonder Dog, or drink hot chocolate and eat pastries by Wells Hall, among other activities. The goal: to increase awareness about mental health.

“Each of these days is a small time for students to take a small snippet out of their big day to just relax, to get away from their busy, stressful classes and just to breathe,” director of health, safety and wellness for the Associated Students of Michigan State University Harsna Chahal said. 

Every day of the week features activities planned by Chahal in partnership with other student organizations to address different aspects of mental health. Monday’s theme was recharging. Students took home succulents and painted pots with positive messages, all while receiving information about mental health resources. Chahal emphasized the importance of having conversations about mental health with the students who attended the event.

“Instead of just handing them things, we genuinely had a conversation, talked to each of them,” Chahal said. “It makes mental health more like a norm ... not just a scary topic to talk about. It can be some casual conversation you’re having on a random Monday at the Union.”

Tuesday’s theme is ‘Sweat out the Stigma.’ From 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Jenison Fieldhouse, students can join a Zumba workout hosted by MSU CHAARG, a women’s fitness club.

Wednesday’s activities focus on body positivity with painting and photographs from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Student Services Building conference room 110.

On Thursday, students can meet Zeke the Wonder Dog, eat pastries and drink hot chocolate outside of Wells Hall from 6 to 7 p.m.

This Friday, students can attend a tailgate with mental health awareness week merchandise, pastries and hot chocolate at the Breslin Center student section entrance from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

“The goal is to try to make it a habit to practice mental health,” Chahal said. “It doesn’t have to be an hour. It can just be short ... just to recharge your body. The goal is to help students recharge.”

Mental health resources on campus include:

  • MSU Counseling and Psychiatric Services, https://caps.msu.edu/index.html 

  • Crisis counseling service, call (517) 355-8270 and press “1” at the prompt to speak with a crisis counselor.

  • MSU Center for Survivors 24/7 Sexual Assault Crisis Hotline, call (517) 372-6666

  • National Suicide Crisis Lifeline, call 988

  • MSU Olin Health Center, https://olin.msu.edu 

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