UPUA Finishes Mental Health and Wellness Week with Activities in HUB
The University Park Undergraduate Association finished up its Mental Health and Wellness Week Friday after five days of events raising awareness for the issue.
The final day of the campaign included tables in the Hetzel Union Building and a kickboxing event at the IM Building.
“There are a lot of free confidential resources for students who are struggling with mental illness and they are completely underutilized,” said UPUA associate director of communications Madison Starr on the purpose of the campaign.
Whether students were feeling alone, dealing with substance abuse or stressed with schoolwork at the end of the semester, Starr said she hoped the week would “defeat the stigma. Let it be known that this is a university that’s trying to help its students and that it’s okay if you’re not okay.”
By the back door of the HUB Friday, Starr and Earth and Mineral Sciences representative Peter Rinehart hosted an activity area for students that included a Mental Health and Wellness Week backdrop for students to take photos with.
“This is more of just a nice little mental break,” Starr said. “Making a stress ball from Orbeez, the Jenga has different positive messages, the cups are filled with candy and have different resources.”
Rinehart said he was happy the week was able to help students, and that he was able to facilitate important conversations while tabling.
“Two students came up and I had a good conversation with them about what they can do because they struggle with substance abuse,” he said. “That was a really powerful thing for me because it’s not easy for students to talk about that. And I think just the fact they were willing to come up and do that really speaks volumes to them as individuals and the bigger picture.”
Starr said another event showed some students a way to calm down when they’re stressed.
“We were making joy jars which are essentially mason jars you fill up with positive messages to sort of lift your spirits when you’re feeling down and a lot of the people I talked to realized… ‘I didn’t even think something like this could help me when I’m super stressed out.’”
Other events hosted this week were yoga and Zumba classes, kickboxing and a talk by Frank
Warren, the founder of Postsecret.
Tyler Olson is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism and political science. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.