When it comes to mental health students may either not want to or not know how to ask for help.
Kaila Lavin, the director of the Student Recreation Center (SRC) at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), said that’s why marketing, promotion and ensuring a conducive environment are all key elements to getting students to take advantage of the services available to them.
However, campus recreation is just one of the departments on campus. And it’s just one of the departments on the frontlines of student mental health.
As such, mental health collaborations can look like many things. For example, CSUN’s SRC and Oasis Wellness Center help with the promotion of You@CSUN. The comprehensive online well-being platform looks to enhance students in a variety of ways. “It looks at students holistically and the intention is to provide students access to a wealth of content and campus resources across three domains,” said Lavin.
Those three domains include:
- Succeed — academics, career path, learning style and leadership.
- Thrive — personal well-being including physical and mental health.
- Matter — purpose, community and social connection.
At the College of William & Mary, collaborations across campus have come together to meet students where they are at. “Our vision of integrative wellness is designed to create a systemic response that provides multiple portals of entry for students to manage both stress and distress,” said Linda Knight, the executive director of Health & Wellness and the director of Campus Recreation.
They have worked with all departments in Student Affairs to educate on the opportunities available for students. A care team on campus uses the services of Health & Wellness to regularly support students who fill out a care report. Plus, Health & Wellness is working with faculty to add wellness to their classes. Some faculty have even invited those from Health & Wellness to come talk to their classes about what it is they do. And, students have access to online programs like Self-Care Over Soothing, which teaches one how to manage stress in a healthy manner.
In addition to the above, Knight said they also have relationships with many providers in the community. As such, they’ll reach out to for assistance with students’ mental health needs. And after two years of community and connection loss, the importance of campus collaborations for mental health is more important than ever.
EXTRA CREDIT: One-quarter of Americans want to improve their mental health in 2022. As such, here are three mental health trends to consider implementing.
“We have always known what we do in Health & Wellness is critical to the overall success of our students, but it has never been more obvious than it is now,” said Knight.
But, as Lavin pointed out, everyone handles mental health differently. As such, they offer a wide range of services and partnerships:
- Swim lessons
- Department of Health and Human Development
- Department of Police Services
While the reality is students may either not want to ask for help or know how to, they need it. And it’s up to the entire campus to respond. “It is not the job of the Health & Wellness team to provide students wellness,” said Knight. “It’s everyone’s responsibility. It is our job to educate people how to be well, but then everyone — administrators, faculty, staff, friends, family and the person themselves — has a role in that wellness.”
Everyone is affected by stress, which is why maintaining mental balance is essential. My friend was diagnosed with cancer last year. She suffers from worry and fear as a result of her sickness. Revivorship Holistic Cancer Wellness Center (http://www.revivorship.com/) has assisted her in overcoming her depression, which is a huge relief.