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Sep 18, 2018
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Taking a ‘pause’ and focusing on mental health

With finals and graduation just around the corner, students’ stress levels are likely to creep up, too. But Fresno State’s Health and Counseling Center served up ways to promote a stress-free environment and mental health awareness.

A Mental Health Screening Day was last this week and featured a free, anonymous mental health screening. The event was open to students, faculty and staff and focused on learning more about depression and anxiety while giving information on mental health resources.

Mental Health Screening Day is held twice a year — once in the fall during National College Depression Screening Day and once in the spring during the month of April, which is Stress Awareness Month.

The event is part of a new campaign called “Press Pause,” which is a monthlong campaign for students to learn how to destress. It was established to encourage students to take care of their mental health.

Throughout April the campaign will have several stress-reducing activities like painting, gardening, pilates and meditation.

The screening process consisted of filling out paperwork to assess the levels of stress and anxiety that each individual may have. Then people watched a video that helped them recognize the symptoms of stress and anxiety.

If the counselor deemed it necessary, attendees would be encouraged to make another appointment for a later day. The screening was not only for those who were suffering from stress and anxiety, but also for those who wanted to know the symptoms in order to help others.

Health educator Georgianna Negron-Long, the main facilitator for the event, said that because the entire event was anonymous, it reduced the stigma of being nervous – encouraging more students to participate.

“Depression and anxiety are just like other diseases, and not taking care of them can become a more severe issue,” Negron-Long said. “We want to encourage students to destress, because when you’re destressed you can focus more and remember better. Then you can be most effective.”

For more information on the “Press Pause” campaign or to know more about stress-reducing techniques, go to www.fresnostate.edu/heath for more information.

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