The beginning of spooky season fittingly began with International Smile Day on Oct. 1. The day is a kickstart to Mental Health Awareness Week, which lasts the full first week of October.
For students at Minnesota State University, Mankato, an important step of Mental Health Awareness Week is to be educated on the resources on campus available to students concerning mental health, as well as have a clear understanding of what mental health is.
The Counseling Center defined mental health as, “Our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Our mental health impacts how we think, feel, and act. Mental health can impact how we handle stress, relate to others, and our overall daily functioning.”
The Counseling Center can be found upstairs in the Centennial Student Union, past the Reporter office. Resources offered go beyond one-on-one therapy; the Counseling Center also offers workshops, seminars, and group counseling.
The Counseling Center explained, “While enrolled students may attend a maximum of 10 individual sessions per academic year, most individual problems are typically addressed within 2-6 sessions.”
The Counseling Center even offers help directed towards academics, called Behavioral Stress Management Instruction.
“This one-on-one service is for students looking to learn and build skills to address mental health and academic challenges. Some emphasis include[s] mindfulness, overcoming procrastination, test anxiety, and assertive communication,” the Counseling Center said.
If a student is seeking individual services beyond the 10 offered, the Counseling Center can guide and recommend community services.
Additionally, the Counseling Center said, “If a student is looking for off-campus services, but has financial concerns, there are agencies that offer sliding scale fees. Counselors in the Counseling Center can assist students with learning about such options.”
Even if a student feels comfortable navigating college without therapy for the time being, the Counseling Center offered some advice.
“Some important self-care tips to help with mental health – build social support, stay active, incorporate healthy foods, practice good sleep hygiene, and don’t hesitate to reach out for help.”
Furthermore, students may have friends or peers that are struggling, and the Counseling Center can help guide students through that as well.
“Often showing you care and are willing to listen can be the most important aspect of supporting an individual who is struggling,” said the Counseling Center. “Treating the individual with respect and be sincere. Sharing campus resources, like the Counseling Center, and suggesting they speak with a counselor may provide help.”
In order to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week, the Counseling Center hosted a table at the Mav Mall yesterday, and plans to host one in the student union on Thursday.
Header Photo: Mavericks flex their dimples for International Smile Day to kick off Mental Health Awareness week. (Dylan Engel/The Reporter)
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