Photo and story by Sabrina Tyson / Contributing Writer
On Thursday night, Cause for Conversation, held a stress-based question and answer session with a panel of experts. The panelists were Vinny Black, a health educator who works with Middle Tennessee State University students as a health coach, Eric Clark, who is a part of the MTSU Student Health staff, and Carolyn Jackson, who works with students at MTSU Counseling Services.
Cause for Conversation is an organization that focuses mainly on suicide prevention, as well as reducing stigma with mental health. The organization put on the event as a part of Mental Health Awareness Week.
“This is the first event of its kind, but we hope to continue to have a Mental Health Awareness Week once a year,” said Sarah Pope, the president of Cause for Conversation.
The panelists gave tips on topics such as stress management, time management, eating healthy on campus and the importance of exercise in overall health.
“If it wasn’t for (exercise), I wouldn’t be able to maintain the schedule and lifestyle that I have,” Black said.
The main tips the panelists shared were to never be afraid to get help and do so early on, take things one step at a time to avoid getting overwhelmed with stress and anxiety, maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine and to try to get eight hours of sleep a night. Johnson said people should try and do one thing a day to take care of themselves, even with busy schedules.
“I think a lot of my students are spread thin, and they don’t have much of a choice,” Johnson said. “I’m looking for any narrow window of time for them to do some self care.”
For MTSU students in need, there are many resources offered by MTSU, such as counseling and health coaching. Resources such as this are available from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at MTSU Counseling Services.
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