SATIRE: Introducing RICH, the newest accessible mental health program

Himalayan weekend trips, exotic organic fruit will add to ‘enriched’ experience



Do you really still buy your food from grocery stores? Everyone knows Peruvian organic produce is the only way to be healthy.

ANNA YOUNG, Evergreen reporter

WSU announced the arrival of a new program with the goal of enriching campus morale and improving students’ mental and physical health.

The program, called Reviving Intellect, Comfort and Health (RICH) will launch in 2020, program director Marshall St. Ewen III said.

“RICH will function a bit like our study abroad programs,” St. Ewen said, straightening his cravat. “Students can apply for various tracks which will have workshops and travel opportunities. It will be completely accessible to all students.”

St. Ewen said he and other program members began formulating RICH to address concerns about poor mental health. According to the World Health Organization, 35 percent of college freshmen struggle with mental health disorders.

After extensive field research, RICH’s health consultant Marie Cavalo pinned down the culprit of mental illness — a lack of self-discovery and unsatisfactory environmental conditions.

“We asked students how they spent their waking hours,” Cavalo said. “Homework? Classes? Twitter? And then, to top it off, they’re eating garbage. Store-bought, GMO-laden brain killers. It’s truly tragic.”

Cavalo proposed many of the workshops RICH will offer, and St. Ewen devised the corresponding educational trips. Students can partake in any or all of the three available tracks: physical health, mental health and self-discovery.

Cavalo’s workshop in the physical health track, “Food: Getting to the Source” will provide attendees with nutritional advice and practices — hand-crushing campus acorns for milk, for example, or importing vegetables directly from family-owned, organic farms in Peru.

St. Ewen will then take attendees to the Himalayas on a weekend trip, where he said they can lick unprocessed pink salt directly on the mountains.

“This may be a physical health workshop, but the benefits overlap,” he said. “If you can get your salt free of toxins, your depression or anxiety will certainly disappear.”

Another of St. Ewen’s trips involves a week-long excursion into the Bahamas at the end of February 2020. Sophomore Edwin Hollingsworth Jr. said he looks forward to attending this mental health workshop.

“Pullman winters can be a bummer, and sometimes I just need a little ‘me time,’ ” Hollingsworth said. “This is an easy way to do that.”

Some students might worry about the price tag on these opportunities, but St. Ewen said not to worry. He said he designed the programs based on their own budgets from when he was a student at Columbia University.

“I remember the struggle,” he said. “Sometimes I would eat nothing but T-bone steak for weeks because my parents would forget to send me money for porterhouse. And don’t mention the frat parties! I’d go just to get free Screaming Eagle Cabernet when I couldn’t afford my own.”