Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College hosted its second annual Mental Health Days on campus during February 5-7, 2019. Each day was filled with unique events and activities to help combat and bring recognition to mental health challenges.
“The goal of our Mental Health Days was to bring awareness to common mental health issues of college students, and to provide experiences for students and employees using strategies that help ward off the winter blues and avoid the mid-semester slump,” said Ashley Tegels, campus Social Worker and chairperson of the committee that organized the week’s events. “It’s important that everyone has a few ways to relieve everyday stress, and to feel healthy and happy.”
Mental Health Days aimed to raise awareness and create a positive environment where students and employees were comfortable discussing the increase of mental health challenges, especially the challenges college students face. Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College informs students about the help they can receive if they are struggling with mental health.
Mental Health Days consisted of several fun, encouraging, and therapeutic activities to help relieve stress and challenges that people may be facing.
“A small committee consisting of Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College advisors, counselors, and social workers from our Student Services department worked on organizing and presenting Mental Health Days,” explained Tegels. “Students really participated at high levels and showed interest in the activities. The Sun Spot Bus, massages, and the Sensory & Relaxation Zone we set up proved to be the most popular activities.”
The beginning of Mental Health Days kicked off with a suicide prevention training and snowshoeing around campus. Activities that followed included yoga, which is a great way to relax, a visit of several friendly little animals from the Lake Superior Zoo’s Zoomobile, reiki healing, plus guest speakers and educational activities.
“We expected the Sun Spot Bus to be popular again this year and it was with about 60 people who registered for a 30-minute time slot,” Tegels said. The Sun Spot, a light therapy bus, is a 16-seat bus designed with bright and UVB lighting, plus it offers a warm temperature inside the bus. The goal of the bus is to combat Vitamin D deficiency and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) while providing a short period of relaxation.
The Student Family Support Center used Title III Grant funding to make the event possible, as well as the Student Services staff and student volunteers who made the second annual Mental Health Days a resounding success.