By Ja’Bria Lester | Posted on November 3, 2022
Life as we know it could have a big impact on our mental health and affect anyone, especially students. The older we get, the more responsibilities we have to take on, whether it’s with school, family, bills, or even our personal lives.
Kean University ensures that students are recognized and heard. Chantonette Lyles, associate director for academic perseverance and educational innovation, is in charge of the Mental Health Fair on October 12 for students whose mental health has been affected.
This event is part of Kean’s first-ever Junior Week, which runs from October 10-14. It focuses on juniors, ensuring they are connected to campus resources as well as other students.
“Mental health affects us all in different ways and it’s very important that students make their mental health a priority, which is why we wanted to incorporate this mental health fair during junior week,” Lyles said.
Not only is this a Kean University event that will be attended by students, but the mental health fair will have several other on-campus collaborations that will include outdoor tables, and outside resources will also be present. .
Every year there is a Mental Health Awareness Month event here at the university, this year the event was on October 12th. The mental health conversation should be a lot bigger and have a lot more exposure.
“I want to make mental health day a priority, referring students to the counseling center to make sure students have a long way to go, that they know there are resources on campus here to help them,” Lyles said.
All students go through difficult times, especially with regard to the mid-terms which are fast approaching. The goal of this mental health fair is to let students know that it’s okay to breathe deeply and relax for a moment.
Peace is a very important factor that must be taken into consideration. When you are at peace, everything flows effortlessly. The mental health event on October 12 addressed important factors that we need in our daily lives.
Often, students do not feel that they are listened to enough or sometimes appreciated. Every day is a different day that we go through, whether it starts well and ends badly or starts badly and ends well, it’s just unpredictable.
Kayla Hodges, a student here at Kean, has been attending for three years now. She faced difficulties throughout her stay here.
“The way I deal with my mental health is that if I don’t have anyone to talk to about it, I would use music as an escape, go shopping, watch YouTube videos, clean up and paint,” said Hodges said.
As the school year progresses and new students arrive, it is very important for them not to feel like the university is an overwhelming place, they should feel comfortable in this environment .
Being able to talk to each other and share your hobbies might help the next person. Some people may just need a listening ear or someone to be there when times are tough.
“It’s not easier said than done, the gray cloud doesn’t always last forever. It may seem like it for now, but always be open to resources and advice. Just keep pushing yourself to be better,” Hodges said.
At the Mental Health Lounge, several tables were placed outside the Miron Student Center. Each board contained information on how to access different resources on campus to deal with mental health issues.
There was also food, games, prizes and lots of smiling faces. It was a great turnout, the students made sure they got the help they needed even if it was for a friend.