‘Spring into Wellness’ Addresses Mental Illness Stigmas

Photo by Hope Patti

Ramapo hosted its annual Spring into Wellness event on Wednesday, April 6 in the Bradley Center. While the event was mostly marketed toward third-year, Spring Into Wellness was open for the whole campus to participate in activities such as yoga, hip-hop dance tutorials, CrossFit, aroma therapy, massages and more.

According to Active Minds, described on their website as "a leading non-profit organization that empowers students to openly speak about mental health," depression, anxiety and eating disorders all contribute to a higher probability of dropping out of college, which makes mental illness a critical issue on college campuses. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 50 percent of students who drop out of college do not seek help from the mental health services on campus.

Campus clubs and organizations such as the Mindfulness and Yoga Club, Active Minds, the Stigma-Free Committee and Health and Counseling Services sponsored Wednesday’s event. One table included in the event was Spring into Wellness at George T. Potter Library, where library books were displayed that specialized in mental illness, handy nutrition and managing depression.

Ramapo Dining Services was among the many groups that sponsored the event, where registered dietitian Aliz Holzmann provided students with useful information about the importance of healthy eating and maintaining a strong state of mind, along with free samples of edamame nut salad.

“I think this is a very successful event just because of the fact that it’s different than most events that are held on campus and it has a lot of resources,” said Gianna Limen, a volunteer who was handing out tea and cookies.

While the goal of Spring into Wellness was to have students take time out of their day to discover ways to maintain physical, emotional and academic well-being, spreading awareness of mental illness had a huge role in making this event as successful as it could be. Students were able to grab free bracelets, temporary tattoos and T-shirts that read, “Mental Illness Does Not Discriminate, People Do, Stomp Out the Stigma.” Self-help pamphlets were also available for students to read and take with them, such as "Stress 101: How to Be a Student and Still have a Life." Spring into Wellness emphasizes the importance of students knowing what to do if they’re under stress and how to properly take care of themselves.

“I think college is a lot easier to manage when you have a goal for yourself,” said Sara Barsky, a senior.