September has been designated Wellness Month at Fairmont State University to promote mental health awareness among, and offer support to, the campus community, particularly, those individuals who represent marginalized populations.
“We know that historically marginalized populations face higher risk of health issues and suicide ideation, so we wanted to bring awareness to these struggles and the resources available to support our students,” said Evan Fossen, Assistant Director of Student Life.
Month-long programming, listed in detail below, has been organized by the University’s Umbrella Coalition, an inter-departmental committee dedicated to bringing diversity, equity and inclusion programming to campus. Some events require registration, which can be accessed at https://fairmontstate.libcal.com.
- Monday, September 20: Members of the campus community are encouraged to participate in a “Social Media Blitz” by sharing various photos, graphics and statistics that will be published to the University’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels, accompanied by the hashtags #WellnessforALL and #UmbrellaCoalition.
- Tuesday, September 21: Students can learn more about self-care by attending Adulting 101: Mental Health, a free event hosted by Counseling Services from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Falcon Center conference rooms.
- Tuesday, September 21: The campus community is invited to cheer on the Falcons volleyball team in the Feaster Center from 7 to 9 p.m. as they take the court against Shepherd University. During the match, The Hidden Opponent, an advocacy group that focuses on student-athlete wellness and addresses the stigma with sports culture, will be raising awareness about mental health.
- Wednesday, September 22: Students, faculty and staff will join together from 6 to 8 p.m. to “Stomp Out the Stigma” associated with mental health struggles by participating in a one-mile walk around campus. A campus mental health resource fair will take place on the Falcon Center Quad following the walk.
- Monday, September 27: A discussion on mindful eating, led by mental health counselor Shannon Ackerman, will be held in the Falcon Center’s Private Dining Room from 2 to 3 p.m. To attend the event virtually, visit www.fairmontstate.edu/umbrella-program.
“Wellness has always been important, but our experiences during this pandemic have made making wellness a priority even more vital,” Fairmont State University President Mirta M. Martin said. “Our top priority is the health, safety and wellness of our dear Falcon Family. We always emphasize the importance of wellness, but designating September as Wellness Month at Fairmont State University allows us to call everyone’s attention to wellness resources and initiatives. I urge everyone to take part in the activities scheduled for Wellness Month, learn about these resources, take care of themselves and ensure our community’s health.”
Fairmont State will continue to provide mental health awareness activities throughout the year, made possible by the Falcon Mental Health Program. Last month, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission awarded the University a Campus Mental Health Grant to launch the program, which aims to promote mental health awareness and prevention among the campus community through support programs and by enhancing existing mental health services.