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Take a Mental Health Day on Oct. 26

WCU News 2017

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Take a Mental Health Day on Oct. 26

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Take a Mental Health Day on Oct. 26

Kevin Hines jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge to end his life — and lived to tell about the regret he felt the instant his hands left the railing and he began to free-fall.

As the keynote speaker for this year's Take a Mental Health Day, Hines will share his story of the mental health demons he still battles and the angels he finds in his friends, family, and other supporters. He will take the stage in Madeleine Wing Adler Theater at Swope Music Building at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 26. His presentation is free to WCU students, faculty, and staff, but tickets are required. General admission tickets are $10.

At noon, three University experts will discuss collegiate pressures and positive mental health in a free presentation on "Managing Stress and Pressure in Athletics and Academics." Associate professor Rachel Daltry of WCU's Counseling and Psychological Services, who specializes in working with student athletes, joins two College of Health Sciences faculty members in examining signs of stress, anxiety, and general mental health issues and offering management strategies. Lindsey Keenan, a sports medicine assistant professor who researches concussion and depression/mental health issues in athletes, and Margaret Ottley, a kinesiology professor and sports psychologist who has worked at the elite (Olympic) level, will bring their perspectives.

The message of Take a Mental Health Day is to take time to regroup and reassess things when life feels out of control or you're having difficulty coping. You're not alone in feeling that way: The American College Health Association has documented that more than 80 percent of college students feel overwhelmed and nearly one-third of all college students regularly report feeling so depressed they have trouble functioning.

Those who are among that population can take advantage of WCU's many resources in addition to the programs on Take a Mental Health Day.

Slip in a little "me" time at the Center for Contemplative Studies, which offers free yoga, meditation, or simply a quiet place to gather your thoughts. Nearly all the programs are free, including a student "Stress Management 101" series. Taught by a WCU graduate, there are four sessions per section; begin the half-hour programs on any Friday 12 – 12:30 p.m. Register at or call 610-436-2200.

The University's new Community Mental Health Clinic opened in August on the eighth floor of Wayne Hall. Affiliated with the WCU doctor of psychology (Psy.D.) program, the clinic serves as one of the program's training centers for graduate students and as a clinical research site for Psychology Department faculty. It provides low-cost psychotherapy and testing, a wide range of psychological services, and specializes in trauma-related disorders and child & adolescent mental health. 610-436-2510.

In addition, check out the training you can receive to become certified in Mental Health First Aid though a free course right here on campus. There are two all-day sessions: Friday, Nov. 3, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. in the Center for Contemplative Studies and Thursday, Nov. 9, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. in Sykes Student Union.Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) takes the fear and hesitation out of starting conversations about mental health and substance use problems by improving understanding and de-stigmatizing these issues. The two courses are free, but reservations are required. For additional information on Mental Health First Aid, contact Amanda Blue, Outreach Business Manager in the College of Health Sciences.

If you or someone you know needs help, call Chester County's Mental Health Crisis Intervention toll free at 1-877-918-2100 or 610-280-3270. This service is free and available 24/7 to anyone in Chester County regardless of their insurance status.. All calls are confidential and may be anonymous.