By: Hollis Conners
In order to help raise awareness about mental health, and provide some tips on how to reduce stress, Active Minds gave out care packages to all first-year students.
The packages were delivered on Oct. 28. Residential assistants (RAs) passed out the packages to students living in their halls, and commuters were welcome to pick them up during downtime in the commuter lounge.
After considering the idea last year, Treasurer and Social Media Manager Steph Fiorelli led Active Minds through the project.
“(Since May,) our officers have been involved in things like getting price quotes, filling in our business cards (which have) our meeting times/locations, proofreading and being super supportive,” Fiorelli said.
“We really couldn’t have done it without our volunteers. We wanted this project to be a way to get important information (about mental health) out and to start a conversation about it,” Fiorelli said.
Those who received the care packages were presented with
facts about mental health, including tips about responding to recognizable mental disorders.
Each package included a welcome letter, explaining the reason for the packages and listing a few campus organizations that are involved in the cause.
Xavier’s chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness and Xavier’s Student Health Advisory Council also assisted with the project, as these groups also focus on educating people about mental health.
The packages also included bookmarks with advice on how to “de-stress.” Students were encouraged to put aside time for activities that ranged from taking a walk, to rescheduling “worry” time and drinking tea.
Pamphlets with advice on how to handle a situation where a friend may have a mental health disorder, emergency phone numbers for various occasions and candy were also included.
“We wanted our first-years to know about mental health resources, what to do in the case of a mental health emergency and introduce what Active Minds does,” Fiorelli said. “If a single student uses psych services, can help a friend in a mental health emergency or calls a mental health help-line because of this information, then (this project) has been successful.”
Active Minds encourages students who have not received a care package to ask their RAs, or if they commute, to stop by the commuter lounge. Students can also contact Active Minds on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/activemindsinc for extra packages