The Student Non-Profit Alliance (SNA) partnered with over 15 on-campus organizations to hold a self care event in the Smith Student Center Ballroom on Sunday evening, allowing students to learn coping skills for mental health issues that they may be experiencing.

Approximately 230 students checked into the event through CORE, participating in activities and self care stations that demonstrated different anxiety relievers, such as how to make face masks, scrubs, and stress balls from scratch. Students could take recipe cards with simple and quick instructions on how to make these at home.

The ARC sent a yoga instructor who led four meditation sessions while eSports and the Music Therapy Club also provided activities. Active Minds, the Gender Studies Club and HOPE Peer Educators were also among partners of the event.

“It was really an opportunity to just kind of relax,” said Samantha Figard, SNA marketing and public relations chair. “There’s been a lot of issues on campus and we just wanted to show our support for what’s happening.”

The Counseling Center showcased a table with a Mental Health Jeopardy game. Students had the opportunity to answer questions for points that would allow them to enter a raffle to win one of three $20 gift cards to the SGA Bookstore.

Not widely recognized on campus, the Counseling Center continues its efforts to promote itself.

“It’s a great place to be if you are struggling with anything or feeling stressed, anxious or depressed,” said Ken Messina, the Counseling Center’s clinical director.

Slippery Rock University’s National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) affiliate, a chapter new to campus this year, informed attendees on activities for self care such as talking to a friend, crying it out or going for a walk. With the goal of promoting awareness and educating students and staff on the importance of mental health, NAMI finds different activities or events to show people that there are ways for self-care.

“It’s really hard being a student and finding the time to take for yourself,” said Figard, who could relate as they were a big part in planning and organizing the event over the past two months. “For students that may not be able to find that balance, we wanted to bring this opportunity to show how easy it can be.”

“Even if you only have ten minutes,” Figard added, “it’s possible.”

As part of “IZE on Resiliency,” SNA will promote awareness for mental health throughout the week. On Monday night, the club paired with the Counseling Center to hold a screening of “Inside Out,” a Pixar movie that personifies emotions. In the SSC Theater at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, advocate Alyse Schacter will present a TED talk about the stigma attached to mental health.

SNA will also host an eight-hour mental health first aid certification training course on Saturday. Students are invited to learn how to be aware of mental health and how to help others who are struggling. To participate, due to limited spots, sign up on CORE today.

Brendan is a senior converged journalism major entering his second year on The Rocket staff and his first year as assistant sports editor. Previously, he served as assistant campus life editor while also contributing to the sports section. After graduation, he hopes to cover sports for a newspaper or magazine.

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