On Sept. 25 the counseling center held its second annual, Check Up from the Neck Up. The event offered students the ability to receive free mental health screenings and provided stress-relieving activities such as coloring pages and playing with play dough.
Mental health has become a huge topic in today’s society, especially in the younger generations. In a study done in eight developed countries the American Psychological Association reported that more than one-third first-year college students have reported having symptoms coinciding with at least one mental health disorder. With such a high number of college students dealing with an important issue like this, and the stigma of having a mental health disorder still looming, having events like this is more crucial than ever.
When asked how she felt about RU holding events like Check Up from the Neck Up, freshman musical theatre major Marta Bady said, “It makes me feel really safe. It makes me feel like my school is there for me to learn but also to be a well rounded human being and to be sane.” Bady went on to say she feels like everyone should talk about mental health and that she herself is in a good place with her mental health because she has so many conversations about her mental health.
Yazmin Segura, freshman elementary education major talked about how she felt knowing RU provides free counseling. “It makes me feel more comfortable and more safe because I have never had services like this provided to me before,” Sequra said. “It really shows that RU cares about the mental state of their students and they actually want to help their students succeed”.
Alex Ficco, freshman acting major said, “I think mental health is a very important conversation and having a brother with some mental health issues it is definitely important to recognize with everyone how to treat that and how to be productive about it”.
Dr. M. Joann Wright, director of the counseling center at Roosevelt, said, “I believe this is a vital service for our students. We were able to screen 88 students and make appointments for 20 to come in for therapy. So many of these students were previously unaware of the RU Counseling Center before this event.”
Roxana Zarrabi, the acting staff psychologist, said about the stigma surrounding mental health, “Stigma about receiving counseling for mental health concerns is a common barrier to seeking services due to a variety of factors, some of which may include fear of judgment from others if loved ones or friends find out and fear of being perceived as weak. It can also feel anxiety provoking to think about meeting with a stranger and telling them such personal details about your life. That is why outreach is so important because it helps to reduce this stigma and assist students in learning more about the counseling center so taking that first step doesn’t feel as intimidating”.
When asked if RU students could look forward to another event like this Zarrabi said, “We strongly believe in the importance of such events and will continue to provide outreach to college students, be on the lookout for future events.”
If you or someone is going a tough time, know that you are not alone and there are services here that are dedicated to assisting you at the counseling center in AUD 470 from Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.