Tennessee Tech’s Student Government Association wants to help lift up its fellow students.
That’s the idea behind their first-ever Wellness Fair held today in Centennial Plaza. SGA President Aaron Lay said that with the pandemic exasperating general mental health struggles, he and his executive team wanted to normalize discussions on mental health.
“There’s a stigma that surrounds mental health on college campuses and quite frankly everywhere across the country and the world so we wanted to do our part to start that conversation and get students to utilize their free resources that are already on campus for them to use.”
Lay said that Tech students are able to have 12 free visits to counseling services included in their tuition. He said that there’s also a wellness app that students are able to utilize called Well Track, which provides self-guided type exercises.
Lay that there are also many online resources that are available for students to use. He said that it’s important to him to make sure students are aware of what’s available to them so they can get the help they need.
“This is an ever-changing time for students,” Lay said. “The average is 18-22 for college students and so students are going through a lot right now whether they’re just now leaving home, this is the first time they’ve been away from their families, and this is a big transition period. This is also a big period of uncertainty. We’re at college, we’re changing our majors, we’re figuring out what we want to do with our lives and we’re trying to go out and get that first job or go on to study elsewhere. It’s very, very stressful, and this is something I’ve struggled with myself, and mental health is something we can all kind of attest to a bit if we think about it, and so we really thought it was important to highlight those resources.”
Lay said that with 10,000 students on Tech’s campus, it’s important to take care of one another. He said that at the fair they had 13 partners from both on and off-campus to highlight the resources available to students so that Tech students might become more aware of such opportunities to put themselves first as they continue on their collegiate journeys.