Fairmont State introduces packages to fight psychological well being and meals insecurity

FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Fairmont State University has launched a new program focused on mental health.

The university will conduct monthly health promotion activities for its Falcon Mental Health Awareness Program. The program is funded by a Campus Mental Health Grant from the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.

Students go on campus

“Our goal is to ensure that our students know that we have mental health services available on campus, that we are there for them, and that they are never alone. We’re glad you are here and we want you to be safe and healthy while you are here, ”said Chelsea Collins, Fairmont Director of Student Health.

“The coordination of this new structure with this new program only shows the fact that Fairmont State University always thinks of its family first to ensure that they receive the educational services as well as the holistic services they need to be successful,” said Dr. Mirita Martin, President of Fairmont State University, said.

The program will focus on key areas including post COVID-19 mental health awareness, suicide awareness, mental disorders with an emphasis on depression and eating disorders, high risk sexual behavior, alcohol use and binge drinking, drug use and abuse, stress reduction techniques, time management, adjustment to college life and current events and social issues related to mental health.

Activities include wellness fairs, yoga on the quad, Main Street Mental Health at the Falcon Center, residential education programs, stress management sessions and support groups, and more.

The first activity of the Falcon Mental Health Awareness Program takes place on September 8th, when the campus community unites for the “Stomp Out the Stigma Walk and Roll”. During this event, students, faculty, and staff will meet for a stroll around campus to raise awareness about suicide prevention and negative stigmatization related to mental health.

“According to the CDC, more than 25 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds have given serious thought to suicide in the past few months due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Collins. “We want to combat these statistics through unified, interprofessional efforts to raise awareness and provide education to improve the mental health of our students and the campus community as a whole.”

The university also unveiled a new way to help students with food insecurity.

“Freddie’s Pantry” is fully stocked at Haught Hall. The pantry was put together by the Student Government Association. Its goal is to provide students with a more discreet option for grocery supplies outside of The Nest pantry at the Falcon Center.

Freddie’s Pantry at Fairmont State University

“The idea of ​​Freddie’s Pantry was born to tackle food insecurity among students in a way that makes it comfortable for students,” said Evan Fossen, Assistant Director of Student Life. “We would like to thank everyone who took part in this initiative. This would not have been possible without the full support of the Student Government Association, the design expertise of our architecture student group and our Physical Plant staff. ”

Fairmont State is also working with the Wesley Foundation and churches to provide one hot meal a day for students struggling with food insecurity.

Freddie’s Pantry relies on donations based on the “take what you need and leave what you can” method.

“Whether it’s our mental health program or our blessing box for Fairmont State to address food insecurity, I think it shows a sense of the caring our community has among humanity,” said Dr. Martin. “I have always thought and prayed that the world would become more compassionate and humane after this pandemic, and I think we are seeing this right now through these new programs that cater to the specific needs of students who may have been perceived as a disease in the past were or wanted to be hidden. Now we’re addressing them directly because we want to make sure that our students, faculty, and staff, all here in Fairmont State, our entire falcon family, are successful. ”

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