Healthy Husky and Mental Health Matters

Kristi Hammaker,, BU Health and Wellness Educator

     If you broke your arm, you would go to the Emergency Room for treatment.  If your car suddenly stopped running, you would go to your local mechanic.  If you were confused about your taxes, you might consult an accountant.  When you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and possibly depressed, and it is causing your grades to fall, who do you go to?  

     You might seek the advice of family and friends.  However, your best resource is someone with a degree and experience in psychological counseling.  Due to the stigma that still exists around mental health, you may feel apprehensive about seeking their services.  Here at Bloomsburg University (BU), we are working diligently to reduce the stigma around mental health and provide beneficial programs and services to support mental health.

     On Tuesday, April 3rd, The McDowell Institute and BU Health and Wellness, also known as “Healthy Husky,” will welcome Minding Your Mind Speaker, Jordan Burnham, as he provides an informative session about suicide and mental health. This free event starts at 6 p.m. in the KUB Fireside Lounge and is open to the campus community.  Jordan will discuss mental health and disorders and share his personal struggle with depression and attempted suicide.  His story is one of hope as he conveys the importance of awareness and stigma reduction from a survivor’s viewpoint.  

     Additionally, because “knowledge is power,” BU plans to implement the American College Health Association’s National Collegiate Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA) in the next few weeks to collect data from freshmen and sophomores.  The survey, which is confidential and cell phone friendly, will provide much needed statistical information regarding several dimensions of health and wellness including: Alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use,sexual health,weight, nutrition, and exercise, mental health and personal safety and violence.

     According to nationwide statistics from the ACHA-NCHA, stress, sleep difficulties, anxiety, colds/flu/sore throat illness, and work-life balance issues are the top five “health impediments to academic performance.”  Research supports that academic success is affected by student health.  Healthy Husky will utilize this data for planning and implementing programs and services that will ultimately benefit BU students and assist in improving student health and wellness.

      In a school environment, especially on college campuses like BU, students have the benefit of improved access to programs and services that help those with stress, anxiety, and other mental health situations. With the implementation of Healthy Husky, BU is poised to improve student success by ensuring student health and wellness.

     We are fortunate to have the Health Center (KUB 324), the Counseling Center (SSC 240), the DAWN office (Alcohol & Other Drugs, prevention programs and services), and peer educators (The Husky PAWS) (SSC 253), working together toward this common goal of student success through health and wellness. These, and other departments on campus, also assist students with bolstering “protective factors” through social support, connections with the college community, personal spirituality or religion, and coping/resiliency skills.

If you, or someone you know, needs to talk to a counselor at BU, please pass on this information:
The Center for Counseling and Human Development (CCHD) is in the Student Services Center, room 240.  Their hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday by appointment, except when BU is closed.  To schedule an appointment, call 570-389-4255.  CCHD also has “walk-in” hours Monday-Friday, 1-2:30 p.m. if you want to see someone right away. For after hours, contact TAPLINE at 1-800-222-9016.
For more information about BU Health and Wellness and other details mentioned in this article, contact Kristi Hammaker, Health and Wellness Educator, at 570-389-4934.