Mental Wellness Week: Student organizations tackle mental health

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To draw attention to the importance of mental health, the Union Program Council partnered with Peer Advocates for Mental Wellness and Success, Counseling Services and Purple Power Animal Welfare Society for the third annual Mental Wellness Week.

Several free student events took place from Tuesday to Friday.

Sophia Leonard, social advocate for PAWS, Counseling Services peer educator and senior in biological systems and engineering hosted “Yogatta Meditate” and attended all of the other events.

Leonard said students get four free therapy sessions at Counseling Services each year and that a lot goes into a student’s wellbeing.

“I know that this part is midterms, and a lot of people have a lot of stuff going on: presentations, papers, exams, that kind of thing,” Leonard said. “We just want to make sure everyone knows that we’re on campus, first of all, so that people can know the resources we have on campus.”

While the events focused on stress relief, the overall goal of Mental Wellness Week is education on the importance of mental health. The events were created to help students find campus resources as well as ease the stigma surrounding the topic.

On Tuesday afternoon, students were invited to “Draw Out Emotions” with a free showing of the film “Inside Out” in the K-State Student Union. Attendees were offered free pizza and coloring supplies to illustrate their feelings.

Tuesday evening, an instructor from the Peters Recreation Complex stopped by for “Yogatta Meditate,” a sunset meditation session.

Mary Beth Stankiewicz, freshman in nutrition and kinesiology, attended as a yoga fanatic.

“My roommate had to come for a class,” Stankiewicz said. “I came along for the stress relief.”

In addition to yoga stretches, students participated in guided breathing exercises to alleviate stress.

Wednesday afternoon was “Fresh Check Day” in the Student Union for students to visit booths and win prizes.

Mental Wellness Week wrapped up with an attempt to reduce the stigma around mental health. Bubble wrap covered Bosco Student Plaza Thursday for students to “stomp the stigma.”

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