Healthy Campus Week events connect students to mental health resources

The Healthy Campus Week events began with pet therapy on Monday, March 14. (Jesús Cano/The Collegian)

Fresno State’s Student Health and Counseling Center (SHCC) is hosting its fifth annual Healthy Campus Week series of events from March 14-17 to connect students to campus resources.

Normally a fall event, wellness services coordinator Kathy Yarmo said they decided to do the event in the spring to coincide with COVID-19 rates dropping and the weather getting warmer. 

“Healthy Campus Week really is designed to encourage students to participate in different healthful activities. We really try to bring attention to resources on campus,” Yarmo said. 

This year the series of events, themed “Grow Into Wellness,” began with a pet therapy session on Monday in the library. During the event, attendees were able to connect with SHCC representatives and learn stress reduction tips from posters hung on the wall.

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Students got the chance to visit with therapy dogs for an hour in the library during Monday’s event. (Jesús Cano/The Collegian)

“We’re calling this event ‘Mindfulness Monday,’ so we’re really focusing on stress, stress reduction and just taking a break from everything going on and petting some cute dogs,” said Chloe Bockoven, intern with the SHCC and fifth-year psychology major with a minor in public health.

“I think it’s really cool for people to find out about different types of therapies,” said first-year student Caleb Benson after attending the event.

Student intern Chloe Bockoven said events like pet therapy gives students the opportunity to relax with “cute dogs.” (Jesús Cano/The Collegian)

Student attendees agreed the pet therapy session, as well as the other coming Healthy Campus Week events, should provide opportunities to relax.

“I just thought that it’s really nice to have a little treat, especially during midterm season,” said freshman Erica Castro.

A virtual event on “Transformation Tuesday” will feature a student sharing their journey to recovery from substance abuse for the first time publicly. The student’s story will immediately be followed with a virtual healing circle, which is a new experience for the SHCC, according to Yarmo. 

“With the healing circle, it’ll be an opportunity if anything spoke to them. If they had any reactions to what was shared, they can go through a process of healing from that,” Yarmo said.

The survivor advocate and a therapist from the SHCC will also be available for students at this event.

“Wellness Wednesday” on March 16 will include a fresh fruit break at noon in front of the University Student Union (USU) for students. The campus survivor advocate will be present at this event as well, along with organizations tabling to raise awareness of sexual health.

The week of events culminates with Thursday’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at the Bulldog Bowl bowling alley in the lower level of the USU. The event will include free bowling and mocktails for students from 7 to 9 p.m.

This event is intended to be a fun alternative to going out and drinking on the holiday, according to Bockoven. 

While Healthy Campus Week was initially part of a national campaign by the Partnership for a Healthier America, when the organization no longer maintained its college healthy campus initiative program, the SHCC decided to keep it up. 

Students who attend any of the Healthy Campus Week events and take a selfie during them have an opportunity to win a $25 gift card by filling out a survey for each event attended. Winners will be notified via email Friday, March 18. Yarmo encouraged students to follow @FSHealthCenter on social media to learn more about these and future events.

During April, which is sexual assault awareness month, the SHCC will have several events for students to connect with resources. These events, such as the annual Denim Day on the last Wednesday of April to raise awareness and educate others about sexual violence, will be announced on social media accounts for the SHCC.

Students even took selfies with the dogs during their hour break. (Jesús Cano/The Collegian)
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