The Daily Evergreen

Week of Welcome should include mental health information

Week of Welcome should make students aware of the health resources available to them on campus

Students+enjoy+food+and+browsing+various+tables+and+stalls+set+up+during+Friday%E2%80%99s+All+Campus+Picnic+as+part+of+Week+of+Welcome.+This+introductory+week+should+also+include+more+information+about+the+various+services+on+campus+related+to+mental+health.
Students enjoy food and browsing various tables and stalls set up during Friday’s All Campus Picnic as part of Week of Welcome. This introductory week should also include more information about the various services on campus related to mental health.

Students enjoy food and browsing various tables and stalls set up during Friday’s All Campus Picnic as part of Week of Welcome. This introductory week should also include more information about the various services on campus related to mental health.

OLIVER MCKENNA | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

OLIVER MCKENNA | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

Students enjoy food and browsing various tables and stalls set up during Friday’s All Campus Picnic as part of Week of Welcome. This introductory week should also include more information about the various services on campus related to mental health.

AUDREY WEAVER, Evergreen columnist

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Every year, WSU’s Week of Welcome introduces freshmen to the college experience. Students are invited to attend events such as pep rallies, speeches, dances and Convocation.

These opportunities to engage with their new peers and school prepares students for life in a new environment.

But, despite the benefits Week of Welcome offers, the programming lacks an essential key to students’ health and success.

Aside from a booth at the Multicultural Student Services CONEXION event, no other programming includes access to information about Cougar Health Services or other wellness resources.

Awareness about student health, including information about Cougar Health Services, needs to be incorporated into Week of Welcome.

While all students can benefit from these resources, freshmen are particularly vulnerable to stress.

The transition to college is difficult for most students. Everyone is in an unfamiliar environment, classes can seem overwhelming and many students are living on their own for the first time.

While it is true that Cougar Health Services had a booth at an MSS event, this alone is not adequate access to information related to staying healthy.

“I had no idea what [Cougar Health Services] provided and what was there until CONEXION,” freshman biology major Amaya Pelagio said. “And a lot of people didn’t go to that.”

Although people seem to know resources are available, they lack information about how to utilize these services.

As transfer student Erin Murphy said, “I don’t know much, besides [that] they offer counseling for students. I think I heard they have a little walk-in clinic type thing, but I’m not sure.”

It is essential that Week of Welcome provides more information about health and wellness. If students have easy access to health services on campus, they are more likely to seek them out.

These improvements could be accomplished by integrating information about Cougar Health Services into a speech. This year, Week of Welcome hosted a fantastic speaker who addressed how to be successful in college.

Perhaps such a speech could cover the stresses of college and detailed information about campus services.

Although Cougar Health Services provides outstanding care to WSU students, it means nothing if no one knows about them.

Administration, professors, counselors: they all work here because they want to help students succeed, and it is vital to remember that success is not possible without a healthy mind and body.

Increased access to health services is essential for success, and Week of Welcome programming should inform new students that these resources are available.

WSU is an institution dedicated to student success. The mission statement says it is “committed to ensuring trust and respect for all persons” attending the university. This goal should include respect for both student well-being and academic achievement.

The stress to succeed in a college setting is inevitable, and avenues to supportive resources should be clear.

Week of Welcome has already made a positive impact on the freshman experience, but more can be done. When students are healthy mentally and physically, they are better prepared for the opportunities ahead of them.

It is time to meet the emotional and physical needs of WSU students.

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Week of Welcome should include mental health information