Simpson College is taking several initiatives to address healthy lifestyles and mental health.
Oct. 10 was World Mental Health Day. The World Health Organization defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”
Simpson counselors work hard to help students in need.
Ellie Olson, a Simpson counselor said the mission of the counselors was to, “Be open and available to students, even with the limited time and money they have, to get out to those students that need help.”
At Simpson, counselors are able to provide 12 free counseling sessions to students during any academic year. Simpson is looking into expanding staff, which shows the importance of the issue.
“The college is expanding the counseling staff even with money limits,” Olson stated.
Olson and Alex Rohn, another Simpson counselor, attend every first-year SC class and explain the reasons why people may need counseling while at Simpson. They want to make sure the students know everyone goes through tough times and it’s okay to ask for help.
The counselors provided their best tips for maintaining good mental health.
They advised getting a good night’s sleep, staying connected with people you feel comfortable to talk to, taking time to have fun, taking a break from social media, talking to people about problems no matter how big or small they are and finally be nice to yourself.
Simpson has a club called Active Minds. The mission of Active Minds is to break down the stigma associated with mental health. They organize events across campus throughout the year to promote mental health. One big event they plan is the Mental Health Fair where they have clubs and organizations from around campus come and show students how to relax and reduce stress.
Junior, Mackenzie Ritscher regularly gets stressed due to the number of responsibilities she has on campus. She is currently the president of Kappa Kappa Gamma, secretary of Active Minds, and a member of C.A.B.
“It’s important to have downtime. Spending time with friends, those people who make you happy,” Ritscher said. “I always find enjoying the small things decreases my stress. Taking regular breaks, getting eight hours of sleep and maintaining a healthy diet helps me stay focused and prevents stress.”