Draw Out Your Emotions provides calm in the midst of midterms

Students color in mandalas during the Draw Out Your Emotions event on Monday, Oct. 8, 2018. (Rowan Jones | Collegian Media Group)

Students found solace from the stress of midterms in the pizza and coloring sheets of the Draw Out Your Emotions event on Monday.

Jared Medina, junior in mechanical engineering, and Jonathan Welch, junior in computer science, saw the event occurring in the K-State Student Union Courtyard through the windows of the east lounge on the first floor and dropped by to grab a slice and a quick water break.

Both students had diffferent perspectives about the calming effects of the drawing.

Welch said it worked short term, “but long term I know I’m procrastinating.”

“I just failed a test, so it helped out,” Medina said.

This event was held as part of Mental Wellness Week. These events are coordinated and organized by Counseling Services and students working with Peer Advocates for Wellness and Success.

Collin Gallery, junior in psychology, is a certified peer educator through P.A.W.S which helps to increase awareness of mental illness throughout campus. P.A.W.S includes a three-credit-hour class, where the final project is planning and organizing a presentation to help educate students on campus about a mental health topic.

Gallery’s final project was Draw Out Your Emotions. Before the event, Gallery said he was a little nervous about how his first event would be received, but on the day of he was seen smiling, inviting students to eat some pizza and take a break from a stressful Monday.

Despite not having an interest in art, Gallery said he recognized the importance of art therapy and felt that coloring mandalas could be a simple introduction to it.

“Using those [circles] to work through your emotions, [it] has been proven thats a better way to do it than some other ways” Gallery explained when asked why he chose mandalas

Wendy Barnes, Counseling Services’ online programs outreach coordinator, said the purpose of Mental Wellness Week is to provide students with an outlet for stress, inform them about the different aspects of mental health and inform them about on-campus resources.

“So students are aware that these resources are available, so if they do find themselves in a crisis moment .. .and they are hitting that wall that they can walk in to Counseling Services,” Barnes said.

Barnes said Counseling Services always has a counselor on duty when they are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. They have a 24-hour line available as well.

Barnes said she feels that, in general, students do not understand severity of mental illness.

“It’s not a passing phase,” she said. “People that do not struggle with depression as a part of their daily lives [don’t understand that].”