UHCS holds events for CWRU students promoting well-being

Zachary Treseler, Staff Writer

Over the next few months, University Health and Counseling Services (UHCS) at Case Western Reserve University will be running various events to foster greater student self-care, and to provide necessary services on campus.

On Feb. 17 at 5 p.m. was the annual UHCS annual Light The Campus event. There, students, faculty and staff were able to pick up a battery powered candle in honor of someone who passed away. In the main event, trees around KSL were illuminated, while the names of those who passed were read.

Next month, UHCS is showcasing their nutrition resources by tabling in Thwing Atrium on March 3. There, students can learn more about nutrition services at CWRU, receive gifts and enter into a raffle prize.

On March 7, during National Sleep Week, UHCS will be teaching patients about healthy sleeping habits. Health and Well-being Outreach Manager Mary Halm, who works for UHCS, said that, “As much as I love ice cream, Sundaes on Mondays isn’t the program I am most excited about. I am most excited about the Zs Get Degrees: Healthy Sleep Program. This program covers the importance of sleep and how to practice healthy sleep habits on campus. We will also have a ‘make your own healthy sleep kit’ table, where students can gather materials that allow them to practice healthy sleep habits.

“UHCS has invested time and resources into this event and others because we know that  well-being requires skills to manage one’s emotions, body, social network, life purpose and community. The Healthy Sleep Habits program covers an aspect of wellness that CWRU students often struggle with—sleep is important to a healthy mind and body.”

The other activity Halm mentioned, Sundaes on Mondays, will take place on March 6. Students can meet peer health educators while also enjoying a make-your-own-ice-cream bar. On March 28 there will be an arts and crafts event during a Mindful Activity Hour.

“Other activities like Sundaes on Mondays and the Mindful Activity Hour highlight the importance of mindfulness—an evidence-based practice that improves well-being and allows students to focus on something that can bring them joy and relaxation.”

Further, UHCS has partnered with the Cuyahoga Department of Health to offer free and confidential STI testing throughout February on a walk-in basis.

This is in addition to the weekly recurring events UHCS offers. There is the BIPOC Support Space, a confidential one-on-one Zoom or in-person meeting with multicultural specialist Dr. Naomi Drakeford. In addition, UHCS is offering an open support group called I’m Fine, It’s Fine, Everything is Fine. It features guest speakers and guided meditation. 

Halm said, “Our support groups—such as BIPOC Support Space, I’m Fine, It’s Fine, Everything is Fine and Rethinking Anxiety and Depression—are available for students to work through concerns they have for themselves or for others.”

To ensure the campus community feels able to help, T.H.I.N.K Training prepares members of the CWRU community to recognize and respond to depressive thoughts.

Going to these events can be extremely daunting for students as there is often a stigma attached to various mental and physical health issues and there is a pervasive fear of stepping into the unknown when talking about sensitive issues with people who they have never met before. 

“I would say their concerns are valid,” Halm said of students apprehensive to go to a UHCS event. “Trying something new can be scary, or might make you feel uneasy. However, I would also say that the programs we have are all safe and judgment free spaces.

“Many programs allow you to bring a friend, and in fact we encourage that! For the programs that are one-on-one meetings, students will meet with professionals who will help to create a comfortable and safe environment for them. Being nervous is a normal feeling when attending something new, but taking the first step and attending the program or support group will help to reduce that concern for the next event you attend.”

For more information, Halm directs students to register on CampusGroups.