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Russ College Wellness Week aims to build awareness, provide support

Julie Chiki, Colleen Carow and Marissa McDaid | Feb 1, 2019
Wellness week 2019

Russ College Wellness Week aims to build awareness, provide support

Julie Chiki, Colleen Carow and Marissa McDaid | Feb 1, 2019

As the semester rolls along, stress and anxiety creep in. We all feel it. So why do we sometimes feel we’re all alone?

The Russ College is kicking off its inaugural Wellness Week today to help students know that in fact, they’re not alone – their peers might just hide their stress and anxiety better – and that the college is here to help.

“The reality is that our programs and courses aren’t easy. They take a lot of effort. Those two things alone can lead to wellness concerns,” said Deb McAvoy, associate dean for academics. “We know our students are strong and will persevere -- and they need to know that their peers and faculty have had these very same thoughts to one degree or another.”

According to the Center for Collegiate Mental Health, students across the country are increasingly seeking help for stress, anxiety, depression and other wellness concerns. Sponsored by the Russ College Office of Student Services, Tau Beta Pi and the Biomedical Engineering Society, Wellness Week promotes resources available on campus to help students meet these challenges -- and build skills that foster well-being and resilience.

From Mon.-Fri., Feb. 4-8 in the Academic & Research Center, students can practice skills via activities such as creating their own stress balls, writing notes of appreciation to friends and classmates, and testing wellness knowledge for a chance to win $20 in Bobcat Cash that can be used at markets around campus. Resources on managing stress, reaching out to a friend you are concerned about, and accessing Ohio University’s interactive wellness app WellTrack will also be available. In addition, daily digital signage in Stocker Center and the Academic & Research Center will provide tips.

The college also hopes to reduce stigmas for students facing mental health challenges. A recent survey of students on 60 campuses found that while 47 percent of college students said they feared others would think less of them for seeking help with a mental health concern, only 6 percent said they personally would think less of someone for seeking similar help.

Students are invited to take an anonymous Russ College wellness survey to quiz themselves on their wellness knowledge and share feedback on future wellness outreach events, for the chance to win $20 in Bobcat Cash.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a wellness concern, Ohio University counselors are available 24/7 at 740.593.1616, or call the Ohio University Police Department at 740-593-1911 in case of emergency. Counseling and Psychological Services offers drop-in counseling at Hudson Hall, 3rd Floor, from Monday-Friday at 9:45 a.m.-3:15 p.m.; and at the Living Learning Center, Room 160, from Sunday-Thursday at 5-10 p.m.

For more information on resources, contact Russ College Director of Student Success and Retention Julie Chiki at frenchj@ohio.edu or 740.593.1475.