Anna Fisher – News Writer
The World Health Organization (WHO) will host their first online global advocacy event for World Mental Health Day October 10. Anyone can tune in through WHO’s Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, TikTok, or LinkedIn channels starting at 9 am CST.
The three-hour event will bring in mental health experts and international leaders to discuss how to improve mental health and make mental health services more accessible. Internationally acclaimed artists will share their music and why they are mental health advocates.
This year’s focus is increased investment in mental health, anticipating a rise in need for mental health services due to the pandemic.
“The past months have brought many challenges: for health-care workers, providing care in difficult circumstances, going to work fearful of bringing COVID-19 home with them; for students, adapting to taking classes from home, with little contact with teachers and friends, and anxious about their futures; for workers whose livelihoods are threatened; for the vast number of people caught in poverty or in fragile humanitarian settings with extremely limited protection from COVID-19; and for people with mental health conditions, many experiencing even greater social isolation than before. And this is to say nothing of managing the grief of losing a loved one, sometimes without being able to say goodbye,” stated a representative from WHO in a press release.
Benedictine students can use this event as a reminder to care for their own mental health.
“One of the most important things we can do is understand and honor that mental health is a critical part of what makes up our whole well-being as a person,” said Liz Sodaro, the Interim Assistant Director of Benedictine’s Counseling Center, “When we talk about how we are feeling emotionally and open up about the thoughts swirling around in our mind, we gain perspective, a clearer understanding of ourselves, and hopefully feel less alone.”
“Other important things that help us are staying connected to friends and family, getting good sleep, exercising, spending time outside, making healthier food choices, limiting our technology to give us e-Breaks, and practicing self-care. Self-care can be enjoying a hobby or fun activity, meditating or praying, reading a new book, sharing coffee with a friend, painting, etc. It’s something that gives us a chance to recharge our battery,” Sodaro added.
The Counseling Center offers free, confidential, virtual services. For immediate support, to schedule an appointment, or to learn more, students can call 630-829-1800 or visit https://doxy.me/benuwalkin, which is monitored during the week from 10 am-4 pm.
The Counseling Center also offers Wellness Wednesdays weekly at noon via Zoom so students, faculty, and staff can learn more about mental health. More details are on the Counseling Center’s webpage.
For continued coverage of mental health here at Benedictine, click the link to see what the counseling center offers for all students.