Mental Health Fair: An Opportunity for Mental and Emotional Support

Students struggling with mental health can reach out to Zach, the emotional support dog in Counseling Services (Photo courtesy of Gettysburg College).

Students struggling with mental health can reach out to Zach, the emotional support dog in Counseling Services (Photo courtesy of Gettysburg College)

By Sam Shourds, Staff Writer

The Mental Health Fair took place in CUB Lobby on Thursday, November 29, with several stations designed to raise awareness about the importance of mental health.

Each station provided students with either an opportunity to learn about mental health on our campus and in general, or indulge in activities promoting their own mental health.

One station was a matching exercise that prompted students to test their knowledge of mental illnesses.

Similarly, another station used a “fact or fiction” format to inform students about mental health myths and truths.

These activities taught that oftentimes mental illnesses can be disregarded as serious health issues because of people’s lack of understanding of what defines different illnesses and the implications behind them.

The third and fourth stations allowed students the opportunity to meet the staff of Counseling Services, both human and canine.

The ever-comforting members of the Counseling Services team handed out free mental health planners and pamphlets, and the canine members searched for well-received attention from smiling students.

Next, the fair offered a de-stressing jewelry-making station, massage station, and “tell your secret” station.  The jewelry was made of lava beads scented with lavender, which is known to be a relaxing scent.

The massage station, in comparison, offered less handiwork and more relaxation.  Several masseuses were at hand to give free massages to students who had a few minutes of spare time.

In addition, the “tell your secret” station allowed students to confess their secrets anonymously to show others that everyone has their own struggles and some confessions are felt by multiple people.

Regardless of what stations students attended, I am sure everyone can agree that they left the venue equipped with a better understanding of mental health in our community and in general.

If you or someone you know struggles with mental health, Gettysburg College offers free counseling services.

You can call  717-337-6960 to inquire about making an appointment or go to the Counseling Services building located behind Servo.

If you do not want to speak to a counselor, you can also make an appointment with on of our furry friends in the canine staff of Counseling Services or create an account on TAO, a free service that provides self-help.

It’s important to remember that you’re not alone in your mental health struggles, and there are people and services available to you if you need them.

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Author: Gettysburgian Staff

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