Wilkes-Barre Campus to Host Mental Health Awareness Day on October 15
DALLAS, Pa .– Penn State Wilkes-Barre students have the opportunity to prioritize mental wellness at an event scheduled for Friday, October 15.
Mental Health Awareness Day will run from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and will include activities that will help students focus on and improve their mental health. The event will take place outside the student communities, weather permitting. In the event of rain, the activities will be moved within the student municipalities. Faculty and staff are also encouraged to participate in the event.
“Taking the time to focus on psychological well-being can help deal with the stress of being a student. Practicing coping skills can help [students] manage their anxiety about schoolwork and help them relax when they are overwhelmed with their busy schedules, ”said Melisa Littleton, assistant professor and coordinator of the rehabilitation and social services program, which hosts the annual event with Jackie Warnick-Piatt, coordinator of student activities. “Psychological health and well-being will contribute to the academic success of students. For those who are going through a difficult time in life, a mental health crisis or the onset of a mental illness, it is important that they know how many resources are available. Good mental health is also correlated with good physical health. “
Mental Health Awareness Day includes a variety of wellness stations and activities, such as:
- Information on exercise and nutrition and how they contribute to mental health from Caitlyn Cunningham, Health Services Nurse.
- Stress screenings and resource information from Sarah Luvender-Newman, Campus Advisor.
- Games such as stacking giant blocks, ladder golf, and beanbag throwing.
- Pumpkin decoration.
- Coloring and journaling.
- Healthy snacks.
- A selfie station.
Students who attend will receive t-shirts and gift bags and be able to enter a raffle to win Amazon, Dunkin, or Sheetz gift cards by visiting multiple stations. The campus Radio Club will broadcast music during the event.
“We want to encourage students to learn more about coping skills and the importance of taking the time to use these skills to promote psychological well-being,” Littleton said. “The event teaches them to take time out of their busy schedules to do something they love, and they find out how this positively impacts their well-being.”
“The pandemic has exacerbated depression and anxiety in all populations, not just students. The uncertainty of the pandemic, its devastating impact, social isolation and the resulting fear, anxiety and depression can be very damaging to our overall well-being. It is important to promote awareness of mental health because we have to fight against stigma, ”she added.
The event is part of campus programming that supports mental health, including Therapeutic Thursdays and other health and wellness events.