World Mental Health Day takes place every year on October 10th and is a great way to recognize the growing initiatives to raise awareness about mental health issues and encourage wellness.  First celebrated in 1992, the annual event was created by the World Federation for Mental Health to promote global education and advocacy.

The Women’s Center is equally committed to participating in these efforts.  On Tuesday, October 8, 2013, please join us at Newcomb Theater for a screening of Call Me Crazy.  The film, which features Brittany Snow, Jennifer Hudson, Melissa Leo, Octavia Spencer and Sarah Hyland, revolves around five interwoven stories “about how love, support and hope can help us overcome emotional health conditions like depression, bipolar disorder and PTSD.”  Following the 7pm showing, counselors from CAPS and the Women’s Center will lead an empowering discussion.  Admission is free and open to the public.

On October 10, 2013, free mental wellness screening will be offered at Newcomb Hall (Room 360) from 10am-3pm.  Participants will receive immediate feedback about the results.  Those who cannot attend may also go online for anonymous screenings and information about emotional well-being.  Pizza will be offered on a first come, first serve basis after 11am. For more information, contact Lenny Carter at 243-5150.

Our Counseling Services director, Charlotte Chapman, also provided some great tips for identifying signs of stress and developing healthy coping strategies.  Stress is a normal part of life. It has a positive function because it keeps us alert, motivated, and ready to avoid danger. However, if it becomes a chronic response, it can cause problems such as anxiety and depression, heart disease and other physical ailments.

Warning Signs

  • General aches and pains
  • Grinding teeth, clenched jaw
  • Headaches
  • Indigestion or acid reflux symptoms
  • Change in eating – either more or less
  • Excessive drinking or drug use
  • Sleeping too much or not enough
  • Racing heart
  • Tiredness, exhaustion
  • Upset stomach, diarrhea
  • Sexual difficulties
  • Irritability, impatience, forgetfulness

 How to Respond

  • Accept that there are events that you cannot control. Focus on what you can change, not what you cannot.
  • Learn and practice relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, or tai-chi.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Have FUN! Make time for hobbies and interests
  • Eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
  • Manage your time effectively by prioritizing. For example, say no to requests that would create excessive stress in your life.
  • Get enough rest and sleep. Your body needs time to recover from stressful events.
  • Ease up on caffeine.
  • Seek out social support. Spend quality time with those you love and who support you.
  • If these don’t help, talk with a mental health professional or your physician.

If you, or someone you know, is feeling overwhelmed, stressed or struggling emotionally, seek professional help or visit our Counseling Services team at the Women’s Center.  You do not have to suffer alone. We are here for you!