By Hunter Kelly
Prioritizing mental health has been a popular topic in the last few years, especially on college campuses, and for good reason. The overall college experience can be very rewarding, but it also represents a time of unrelenting turbulence.
Students have a lot to balance between classes, doing assignments for said classes, partaking in clubs and athletics, finding time to hang out with friends and, for many, working to pay off those expenses as well. Having a packed schedule can put a ton of stress on students.
Trying to maintain it all while also being away from home only adds to that stress. Getting into the busiest part of the semester, many on campus are feeling this overall anxiousness.
It’s important that students are aware of the resources they can utilize to help care for their mental health.
Elias Raff, a senior, said, “I’m aware that there’s help on campus and I’m glad those resources are there for people who need them. I’ve considered using some of the services in the past and I wouldn’t hesitate in the future.”
The Student Health and Counseling Center is an excellent resource for students, but they’re booked several weeks in advance at the moment, and although there are other places students can go for assistance, there is a simple way students can help themselves as well.
When we think of the phrase “mental health,” the first words to come to mind are feelings of stress and anxiety. However, mental health is made up of so much more than just feelings or emotions, and beginning to understand what contributes to your state of mental health is an excellent form of self-care.
Helping educate people on what these other contributions are is the platform of the #HealWithIt campaign on campus.
The campaign returned last semester and immediately got to work doing outreach to students. Staff members visited meetings for clubs and organizations, educating them on self-care and getting them to sign a pledge. The team also took pictures with everyone they met. They were used for a mural at the end of the spring displayed at the team’s Self-Care Summit in the spring.
Taylor Waddell is returning for her second semester with the campaign, now acting as co-president.
“We are hoping to educate people about the eight dimensions of wellness and to spread awareness of what resources are available, beyond the counseling center on campus. In doing this, we hope to create a more comfortable environment to talk about mental health struggles,” Waddell said.
The eight dimensions of wellness are at the center of the campaign, describing all the different factors that go into our wellness daily.
These eight dimensions are physical, emotional, spiritual, occupational, social, intellectual, financial and environmental. Simply understanding the dimensions isn’t enough, though, as there are specific aspects of each that can affect the way you feel. Michelle Ouellette, the adviser to the student-run Cardinal PR, knows about the many struggles students might face when trying to balance the eight dimensions.
Ouellette said, “If you’re looking at your credit card bills coming due, that’s stressful and your mental health’s gonna take a hit. Or if you’re graduating and you don’t know what you’re doing in terms of applying to jobs, you can suffer because it can be scary.”
Ouellette emphasized how beneficial staying on top of each of these dimensions, and keeping an overall look at how they affect your life can be.
“Really thinking about each of these dimensions and thinking holistically about what you can do can really make a difference,” Ouellette said.
Be sure to keep an eye out for the #HealWithIt campaign and their outreach with the eight dimensions, and to think about how the eight dimensions affect your life.