Last month, the Colgate Student Government Association (SGA), in collaboration with the Shaw Wellness Institute, put on 13 Days of Wellness, a series of events centered around mental health and self-care.
The initiative was headed by SGA Wellness Coordinator Lauren Wolfe ’21 to bring awareness to the growing mental health crisis, which was made more evident by the pandemic, and to encourage students at Colgate to take an active role in renewing their mental wellbeing.
“I think it is important for Colgate students to take care of their mental health in particular because Colgate is a very intense school, so it is easy for students to get overwhelmed and not make mental health their top priority,” Wolfe explains. “Especially during a pandemic, it is important now more than ever to focus on your mental health and check in on yourself and others.”
Key events of the series included a talk with mental health advocate and best-selling author Jessie Beyer on how to safely and successfully support someone who is struggling with their mental health. Students enjoyed a Self-Care Night with Active Minds, a nonprofit organization committed to raising mental health awareness among college students, during which students made custom exfoliators or lip masks. A study break with Colgate’s Organization of Asian Sisters in Solidarity (OASIS+) featured a screening of Crazy Rich Asians and goodie bags filled with face masks and a variety of Asian snacks.
Wolfe worked closely with core members and staff members of the Shaw Wellness Institute, Active Minds, and OASIS+ in the creation and execution of the events for the 13 Days of Wellness.
“Everyone I reached out to was so willing to help out and thought the 13 Days of Wellness was related to their mission as a club or organization,” Wolfe says. “This helps us see that mental health should be at the center of everything we do and should always be a key priority.”
When asked how she practices mental wellness and self-care at Colgate, Wolfe emphasizes the importance of implementing breaks into her day to step away from work and reaching out to friends and others whom she trusts for some good advice or for a sympathetic ear.
“I have a lot of personal experiences with people close to me struggling with their mental health,” Wolfe remarks. “I know how large of an impact it can have on one’s life and everyday functioning. I hope that, although this event was called the 13 Days of Wellness, it has a long-lasting and far-reaching impact on students.”