The Associated Students of Madison’s University Affairs Committee has recently launched a mental health campaign focused on helping students manage their stress levels.
University Affairs Committee Chair Becca Buell said in an email to The Badger Herald that the committee wanted to raise awareness across campus about resources and outlets students dealing with stress and other mental health issues have access to.
“We want to help promote more nutritious and stress relieving options for [students],” Buell said.
According to Buell, University Health Services offers a variety of services targeted at mental health. She said UAC has partnered with UHS professionals to offer students the best opportunities in mental health and stress management.
Members of ASM have been attending monthly meetings with the Mental Health Coalition, according to Buell.
“Mental health is an important issue to be working on at this campus, because it is something all students are affected by, whether they’re worried about themselves, their friends, or family,” Buell said. “Mental health is an issue that all individuals could use more practice and knowledge on how to balance.”
The campaign draws attention to the resources the UW campus offers, according to Buell. Even if students choose not to utilize mental health services through UHS, Buell said the campaign informs students and faculty that the university prioritizes mental health and stress management.
“It will be the first step in increasing the climate of mental health on our campus and move our university to be more capable of managing and balancing our day-to-day lives with more control of stress,” Buell said.
ASM intern Kayla VanCleave said the committee’s mental health campaign will also strive to connect different organizations and reduce the stigma of mental health on campus.
VanCleave said UAC hopes to facilitate conversations between student organizations interested in getting involved with the campaign. She added different organizations may suggest stress relief strategies or ways to promote the campaign across campus.
Buell added UAC’s student voice and resources within the student government will help establish partnerships with student organizations, a move that would ultimately provide increased awareness for UW’s resources in a more effective way.
“This coalition would become the index for stress relief,” VanCleave said. “We want a place where students can go and find what organizations they should partner with.”
Van Cleave said a number of organizations focused on stress reduction have stepped forward to work with the campaign. The National Alliance on Mental Illness, Active Minds, F.H. King and Ask Listen Save are among the organizations who have already expressed interest in the initiative.
Buell noted the committee does not purport to be experts on topics of mental health, but she said UAC strives to shed light on services that can answer questions student have on their stress issues.
“ASM’s role is to see that there is a problem and connect people to the solution,” VanCleave said. “We didn’t write stress studies or research, but we have been connected to publicize this issue.”