The Student Counseling Center held the first Table Talk of the semester on Tuesday. Smarties were handed out with cards that encouraged starting the semester off right at the event called “Smartie Start.” Students created personal mantras and picked up small plants, along with the candy.
This is the first of several events hosted by the Counseling Center, which are designed to reach out to students and raise awareness for this resource on campus. According to Jennifer Culver, one of the organizers of the event, they received positive feedback from students walking by.
“It was convenient, which is what we were hoping for. Students were appreciative of our presence there and our willingness to answer questions, as well as [being] attentive and drawing their attention to resources,” Culver said.
Culver and Meg Spierto, two counselors involved in outreach programming, headed Smartie Start. Along with counseling students, Culver is an assistant professor in the counseling and development department. Spierto chairs the organization’s outreach committee.
The counselors have a variety of goals for this fall’s outreach events. The August Table Talk focused on preparing students for a successful semester and forming healthy habits. In general, outreach programming is made to promote wellness.
Mental health stigma is an important factor. Culver spoke about different ways to reduce the stigma, such as talking to a counselor casually outside of counseling. Another goal is to spread awareness of the Counseling Center as a resource.
“Students knowing that we’re on campus, knowing who we are, is a goal for us,” Culver said. “Not just publicity that we’re here, but publicity related to the types of resources that we have.”
A Table Talk will be held once a month for the rest of the semester, as well as other events providing resources and support for SRU students.