By: Heather Brimmer
UF Counseling Services provides self-care packages for exhausted students
Last week, the University of Findlay’s Counseling Services handed out self-care packages to many students that have been struggling with mental health during the pandemic. The boxes were filled with items such as gift cards, fidgets toys, and journals. More than 200 self-care packages were distributed in under an hour.
University of Findlay student Olivia Hyatt was able to snag one of the packages before they were gone. She had many positive things to say about the self-care packages and said that the contents of the box have been useful to her.
“My favorite part of my care package was the journal,” Hyatt said. “When you dive into the pages it gets really deep and it’s definitely helpful.”
Hyatt explained that it’s been difficult to manage her stress levels throughout the semester, especially with the looming knowledge that there won’t be a typical spring break.
“This is my busiest semester yet and it’s definitely taken a toll on my mental health,” she said.
However, Hyatt did explain that the self-care package has brought her some respite in this difficult time. She says that she may not be able to speak for the entire UF community, but she believes that the self-care packages made a positive impact on her peers and she hopes to see more events focused on mental health in the future.
“I love it because it helps the students at UF but it also is showing that the university cares about its students,” Hyatt said. “I think that’s really important for them to show.”
Kendra Bermosk, Assistant Director of Counseling Services, helped create the self-care packages event. She says that Counseling Services sought out a grant opportunity to pay for some items that they believed would be beneficial to UF students and worked with several other departments on campus to provide tips for coping with stress and being successful.
200 care packages each with $25 gift cards would amount to $5000 – not a cheap venture – so Counseling Services had to find a creative way to fund the event. Bermosk explained that she and her coworkers had stumbled upon a grant that would allow Counseling Services to do something to help students through college during COVID. The grant funding was supplied by the Prevention Action Alliance and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Bermosk says that the money received was used in a helpful way.
“We wanted to do something for the students that would have helpful information in it, but also just be fun,” Bermosk said.
She continued to explain that Counseling Services has seen how difficult it has been for college students to maintain their mental health throughout the semester. She added that Counseling Services was inspired to do something practical, but also nice for UF students.
“Not everybody gets out to Counseling Services, not everyone has those tips or those helpful things,” Bermosk said. “It was an opportunity to reach a broader base but it was also just something to help people have something nice in the middle of everything.”
“Hopefully, it’s a good reminder and a nice little gesture,” Bermosk said about UF students. “We’re here for you and we care about you. We know it’s hard and we want you to get through these hard times.”
Bermosk excitedly looked toward the future and explained that more Counseling Services events will be coming in the future. She said that several activities will be available to students that she hopes will them take a break and destress.
“Every week in March we have activities coming up that will allow you to take something with you,” Bermosk said. “We’re doing Zen gardens, aromatherapy rollers, mini canvas paintings, chalk art.”
For more information about UF Counseling Services, visit their webpage at www.findlay.edu/offices/student-affairs/counseling.
Featured photo courtesy of Olivia Hyatt.