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Wellness offers new mental health service

Mackenzie Clark
Managing Editor

At a rigorous liberal arts institution such as Wooster, students’ mental health can often take a back seat to homework, studying, extracurriculars and, of course, I.S. This year, the Longbrake Student Wellness Center is encouraging students to be kind to their minds and raising awareness about mental health. During the fall semester, the Wellness Center will be adding Be Kind To Your Mind to their services, a weekly group meeting that will give students the skills they need to manage their stress.

The group began meeting Friday, Sept. 1, and will continue to meet from 4-5:30 p.m. on Fridays at the Wellness Center. The group is loosely structured, with students encouraged to come to one, two or all of the sessions. The sessions are designed to be a hands-on learning experience that aims to help students learn to cope with transitions and stress. During the spring semester, the Wellness Center will offer a similar series of group meetings focused on coping skills in response to difficult or traumatic events.

C.H.O.I.C.E.S. — Cultivating Healthy Opportunities In College EnvironmentS — is another resource being offered this year, a program geared towards educating students about safe alcohol consumption in a non-judgmental environment. C.H.O.I.C.E.S. will be offered four times this semester, twice on Thursday evenings and twice on Saturday mornings.

Lastly, the Wellness Center is offering free mental health screenings on their website.

This service allows students to take anonymous, confidential screenings related to mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, PTSD and alcohol and substance use. This convenient “check up from the neck up” only takes a few minutes and students can see their results immediately following the screening. Additional recommendations and key resources are available for students seeking more information.

“These programs are important because students’ needs vary, and although not every student may need or want to speak with a counselor individually, mental health and wellness are essential for our entire community,” said Anne Ober, the coordinating counselor at the Wellness Center. “If you feel good — you’re more likely to do good — both for yourself and for others.”

While not everyone may want or need individual counseling, it is important for the campus community to be aware of the resources available to help students with a variety of concerns that may impact their health and their ability to engage in various aspects of their lives here on campus and beyond.

September is Suicide Prevention Month. Resources are available on campus at the Wellness Center. Check out the JED Foundation website for resources: www.jedfoundation.org. You can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, their website suicidepreventionlifeline.org or text ‘4HOPE’ to 741741.

For more information about the mental health resources available at Longbrake Student Wellness Center, contact Anne Ober at AOber@wooster.edu.

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