Mills Mind-Body Awareness Week

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March 16, 2009

Nicole Vermeer

The Mind and Body Awareness Week events are under way, but many students are still unaware of the health resources available at Mills.

Campus organizations, including the Women’s Leadership Institute and the Women’s Health Resource Center, came together to host a variety of events, ranging from yoga and meditation to gardening.

The main goal of the events is to raise awareness and increase visibility about mental health issues, according to Erica Browne, who works for the health services at the Division of Student Life.

She said she also hoped that the activities showed students how to see mental health as a “spectrum,” ranging from normal school stress to clinical mental illness.

Browne said that most student problems are not heavy enough for clinical diagnoses, but members of the center “want students to develop a relationship with the health services center before more serious problems occur.”

Cecilia Aguilera, a junior and a fellow in the Women’s Leadership Institute said that mental is health resources at Mills are often not well-publicized.

“Students need more knowledge,” she said.

When asked about health programs on campus, junior Sarah Blake said, “I don’t really know a lot about what’s going on.”

Blake visited the educational outreach table that has been set up on Adams Plaza for the week. The table featured brightly-colored pamphlets about health topics such as depression and eating disorders. The mental health awareness kit included the schedule for the weeks’ events, plus items such as informational pamphlets and a stress ball.

Almost two hours into the tabling event, around fifteen students had signed in.

Student awareness on campus is “mixed” said Browne. She explained that students who are involved with Division of Student Life are usually aware of the health resources available, but freshwomen and graduate students often do not use the services.

Aguilera hopes that the variety of events will encourage students to attend. However at the healthy relationships workshop, presented by the Women’s Health Resource Center, only two students showed up at the beginning of the workshop, which involved discussing healthy relationships.

Ciera Cummings, a freshwoman at Mills who interns at the Health services center, said that the center could definitely use more student involvement.

“A lot of students aren’t aware, but if they were, they would definitely get more,” she said.

Along with meditation at the chapel and a panel on mental health, the awareness week included workshops.

Students learned about things such as stress management, body image and gardening.

Those interested in learning more about health can find information at the Cowell Building on campus.


Mills Mind-Body Awareness Week was published on March 16, 2009 in News

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