April is National Stress Awareness Month, and to honor that, the Wittenberg Counseling Services hosted the Alive! Mental Health Fair to bring awareness to the Wittenberg community of the importance of being mindful about mental illness and wellness. The Counseling Services were assisted by IMAlive, a program that organizes mental health fairs like this one all over the country.
The fair was on Alumni Way, just outside of the Student Center. There were dozens of tables where Counseling Services and several other partner organizations offered activities and goodies. Counseling Services offered a raffle with various prizes for students who went to certain tables and completed specific activities. The tables required to enter the raffle were Share a Secret, Graffiti Wall, Fact or Fiction and Brain Station.
The Share a Secret table allowed attendees to write a secret on a piece of paper, and then drop it in a box. The Graffiti Wall displayed a huge mural of the human brain showing the main parts of the brain and their functions; people could write an encouraging message to those struggling with mental illness. Messages like “You are enough,” “There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel” could be seen by the end of the event.
Fact or Fiction showed attendees facts and myths, encouraging them to pick what they thought was true and false about suicide and depression. The Brain Station was similar, offering a matching game between various mental illnesses and their symptoms.
There were tables by the Womyn’s Center and NAMI, among others, offering various activities and information about resources for mental health. There was also a short performance by the Imani Gospel Choir in the middle of the event.
The raffle included packs of cards, fancy Bluetooth speakers, and more. The first 50 students who came to the event received a free t-shirt.
“The event is going really well,” Kathryn Nydegger, ’19, said. “I’m really happy with it.”
Nydegger, a student representative for the Counseling Services and one of the organizers for the Fair, said that this is the first time the Alive! Fair was hosted, and because of the great success with the event, it is likely that Counseling Services will put the it on again.