OCU Counseling Services and the Honors Student Council executive team are hosting a “Mental Health Marathon” that spans three Fridays.
The marathon is a series of events regarding different aspects of mental health. The first two events were Jan. 10 and Jan. 17.
“We as Honors Student Council were thinking about some of the stress and problems that people at OCU face,” said Sylvia Hayes, cell and molecular biology senior and president of HSC. “We kind of wondered if there was anything we could do about it, so we thought the best thing we could do was raise mental health awareness and open the conversation in hopes of getting people to think about it.”
The first session revolved around general mental health awareness, and the second was about building healthy relationships.
About 20 students attended each session so far. Some professors were at the most recent session to share their personal insights with students, Hayes said.
“I think it’s cool that they’re doing more to bring awareness to mental health,” said Christina Stewart, theater performance junior. “It’s super beneficial just because mental health is something so many college kids struggle with. I think we need to know that we’re not alone in that and know that there are resources available to us.”
The entire campus community is invited to attend the events. Each event features things like movie clips, food, activities, and an open place to come and talk, Hayes said.
“OCU counseling has been a big help,” Hayes said. “Mindy does a lot of the programming, and we just sort of fill in as needed.”
Mindy Windholz, director of counseling services, is in attendance at every session.
Hayes said more faculty participation would be beneficial.
“We’re hoping to get students and professors to kind of come together because professors have way more insight about life than we do,” Hayes said.
The final session will be March 3 and will be about stress and perfectionism. It’s scheduled from noon to 1 p.m. in the Honors Student Lounge in Gold Star Memorial Building.
“There’s a lot of stigmatization around mental health,” Hayes said. “But we’re not trying to fix anybody or tell anybody that they’re bad. Our main purpose is just to remind people that it’s okay to not be okay, and there’s always people you can go to and ways you can handle it.”