Mental Health Awareness Month

Lime-green Mental Health Awareness Month words and ribbon on a blue background

Mental Health Awareness Month 2020

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, an annual national awareness month that focuses attention on the importance of caring for our mental well-being, reducing stigma around mental health issues, and promoting seeking help. 

As we move through spring quarter 2020 in a virtual environment while in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we acknowledge that we all are experiencing higher levels of anxiety caused by the disruption to our normal routines, the isolating effects of physical distancing, and the uncertainty about the many impacts of COVID-19.

You are not alone. Reach out for help:

  • WWU Counseling Center, 360-650-3164, select option 1 for after-hours support
  • Crisis Text Line, text HOME to 741741
  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline, 1-800-273-8255

Mental Health Awareness Month Programs on Zoom

At Western we believe that mental health IS health. Western's Counseling Center and Prevention and Wellness Services are teaming up to offer live workshops and conversations via Zoom around mental health throughout the month of May, and we hope you will join us! Please check back frequently for more updates on events, and follow us on Instagram: @bewellwwu.

MAY 4 // 12-1 PM

Queer Yoga 

LGBTQ+ folks come together for community, support, and connection through this inclusive, accessible, trauma-informed yoga space. Social distancing doesn’t have to mean social isolation; we need community now more than ever. Research shows that a yoga practice has physical, mental, and emotional benefits, so you’re invited to join us for a nourishing class each week with other LGBTQ+ folks. No prior yoga experience necessary. Bring your whole self – all bodies welcome. We’ll start each week with a check-in and then move into yoga practice. Held in partnership with LGBTQ+ Western and led by Kelsey Johnson, staff therapist. Join in on Zoom.

MAY 4 // 2-3:20 PM

Veterans Center Community Check-In

Join Gabrielle from the Counseling Center for this weekly, virtual Veterans Center community check-in held during Spring Quarter. Use this time to connect with others, talk about how you're doing, and seek support through brief consultation and information about mental health resources. If you are interested in participating, please contact Gabrielle Hope-Foucault or the Veterans Center. 

MAY 6 // 12-1 PM

Ethnic Student Center Community Check-In

Join counselors from the Counseling Center for this weekly, virtual Ethnic Student Center community check-in held during Spring Quarter. Use this time to connect with others, talk about how you're doing, and seek support through brief consultation and information about mental health resources. If you are interested in participating, please contact Chris Edwards to register. 

MAY 6 // 3-4 PM

Wellness Wednesdays: Mindfulness 101

Description: Hear from Tonya Pepper, M.S., one of the Counseling Center's staff therapists, to learn the basics of mindfulness practice and gain tools for managing stress and anxiety – especially useful during this time! Join the open Wellness Wednesdays course on Canvas or email Chris Edwards, Counseling Center Psychologist, to get the Zoom registration link.  

MAY 6 // 4-5 PM

LGBTQ+ Mindful Self-Compassion Workshop Series on Zoom

Join Chris Edwards, staff psychologist with the Counseling Center, for shared space and community healing by exploring the role of self-compassion. Now more than ever is a time to engage with the core components of mindfulness, self-kindness, and common humanity to promote mental well-being. Held in partnership with LGBTQ+ Western. Join in on Zoom.

MAY 7 // 2-3 PM

Virtual Queer Community Care Space

Join Jennifer Gildner, Ph.D., and Leja Wright, M.S., in a supportive virtual queer space emphasizing community and connection. The space will provide participants a time to check-in with one another and share experiences. The Queer Space is not intended to be group therapy. The space is appropriate for anyone who identifies within the queer community and those who are questioning. You can participate using video, voice, and/or chat. To register, find “Queer Community Care Space” on Canvas or contact Leja at wrigh38@wwu.edu.

MAY 11 // 12-1 PM

Queer Yoga on Zoom

LGBTQ+ folks come together for community, support, and connection through this inclusive, accessible, trauma-informed yoga space. Social distancing doesn’t have to mean social isolation; we need community now more than ever. Research shows that a yoga practice has physical, mental, and emotional benefits, so you’re invited to join us for a nourishing class each week with other LGBTQ+ folks. No prior yoga experience necessary. Bring your whole self – all bodies welcome. We’ll start each week with a check-in and then move into yoga practice. Held in partnership with LGBTQ+ Western and led by Kelsey Johnson, Counseling Center staff therapist. Join in on Zoom.

MAY 11 // 2-3:20 PM

Veterans Center Community Check-In

Join Gabrielle from the Counseling Center for this weekly, virtual Veterans Center community check-in held during Spring Quarter. Use this time to connect with others, talk about how you're doing, and seek support through brief consultation and information about mental health resources. If you are interested in participating, please contact Gabrielle Hope-Foucault or the Veterans Center. 

MAY 11 // 3 PM

Take Care: A Self-Care Workshop During COVID-19 on Zoom

Join Danny Moloney, M.S., and Angela Swan, M.S., in a discussion about how to practice self-care during these challenging times.  We will discuss strategies to help with feelings of stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness and we will explore what prevents us from taking care of ourselves. Register HERE!  for 5/11 (please include your  WWU email when registering).

MAY 13 // 12-1 PM

Ethnic Student Center Community Check-In

Join counselors from the Counseling Center for this weekly, virtual Ethnic Student Center community check-in held during Spring Quarter. Use this time to connect with others, talk about how you're doing, and seek support through brief consultation and information about mental health resources. If you are interested in participating, please contact Chris Edwards to register. 

MAY 13 // 3-4 PM

Wellness Wednesdays: Coping With Stress

Join Anne Marie Theiler, M.S., Counseling Center staff therapist, for an engaging conversation about the many ways to cope with stress including specific strategies and preventative measures related to COVID-19. Join the open Wellness Wednesdays course on Canvas or email Chris Edwards, Counseling Center Psychologist, to get the Zoom registration link.  

MAY 13 // 4-5 PM

LGBTQ+ Mindful Self-Compassion Workshop Series on Zoom

Join Chris Edwards, staff psychologist with the Counseling Center, for shared space and community healing by exploring the role of self-compassion. Now more than ever is a time to engage with the core components of mindfulness, self-kindness, and common humanity to promote mental well-being. Held in partnership with LGBTQ+ Western. Join in on Zoom.

MAY 14 // 2-3 PM

Virtual Queer Community Care Space

Join Jennifer Gildner, Ph.D., and Leja Wright, M.S., in a supportive virtual queer space emphasizing community and connection. The space will provide participants a time to check-in with one another and share experiences. The Queer Space is not intended to be group therapy. The space is appropriate for anyone who identifies within the queer community and those who are questioning. You can participate using video, voice, and/or chat. To register, find “Queer Community Care Space” on Canvas or contact Leja at wrigh38@wwu.edu

MAY 15 // 10 AM

HOME: Yoga Class

A 4-week yoga series to cultivate, as Maya Angelou describes, “a safe place where we can go as we are an not be questioned.” Home is an inner sense of welcoming, belonging, growing, and nourishment. Join us for this slow flow series designed to nurture a sense of home in each of us; from my home to yours during this global moment. No experience required and all are welcome. Led by Kelsey Johnson, LMHC, RYT. Register HERE! (please include your WWU email when registering)

MAY 18 // 12-1 PM

Queer Yoga on Zoom

LGBTQ+ folks come together for community, support, and connection through this inclusive, accessible, trauma-informed yoga space. Social distancing doesn’t have to mean social isolation; we need community now more than ever. Research shows that a yoga practice has physical, mental, and emotional benefits, so you’re invited to join us for a nourishing class each week with other LGBTQ+ folks. No prior yoga experience necessary. Bring your whole self – all bodies welcome. We’ll start each week with a check-in and then move into yoga practice. Held in partnership with LGBTQ+ Western and led by Kelsey Johnson, staff therapist. Join in on Zoom.

MAY 18 // 2-3:20 PM

Veterans Center Community Check-In

Join Gabrielle from the Counseling Center for this weekly, virtual Veterans Center community check-in held during Spring Quarter. Use this time to connect with others, talk about how you're doing, and seek support through brief consultation and information about mental health resources. If you are interested in participating, please contact Gabrielle Hope-Foucault or the Veterans Center. 

MAY 18 // 3 PM

Mindful Moments Part 1

Is sitting meditation boring, too difficult, or unappealing but you still want the benefits of a mindfulness practice? Learn a few different body-based practices to focus your attention and calm your body-mind. Led by Tonya Pepper, LMHC. Register here for the May 18 class. (please include your WWU email when registering)

MAY 19 // 1 PM

MEN-tal Health Awareness 

Join Brandon Joseph, Men's Resiliency Program Coordinator, and Jon Barry, MSW, on Zoom to discuss men’s mental health. 

MAY 19 // 2 PM

Take Care: A Self-Care Workshop During COVID-19

Join Danny Moloney, M.S., and Angela Swan, M.S., in a discussion about how to practice self-care during these challenging times.  We will discuss strategies to help with feelings of stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness and we will explore what prevents us from taking care of ourselves. Register HERE!  for 5/19 (please include your  WWU email when registering).

MAY 20 // 12-1 PM

Ethnic Student Center Community Check-In

Join counselors from the Counseling Center for this weekly, virtual Ethnic Student Center community check-in held during Spring Quarter. Use this time to connect with others, talk about how you're doing, and seek support through brief consultation and information about mental health resources. If you are interested in participating, please contact Chris Edwards to register. 

MAY 20 // 3-4 PM

Wellness Wednesdays: Mood Boost

Hear from Chris Edwards Psy.D., Counseling Center psychologist, about specific strategies to help improve your mood, practice mental hygiene, and support well-being! We will specifically address tips and tricks for use during a pandemic! Join the open Wellness Wednesdays course on Canvas or email Chris Edwards, Counseling Center Psychologist, to get the Zoom registration link.  

MAY 20 // 4-5 PM

LGBTQ+ Mindful Self-Compassion Workshop Series on Zoom

Join Chris Edwards, staff psychologist with the Counseling Center, for shared space and community healing by exploring the role of self-compassion. Now more than ever is a time to engage with the core components of mindfulness, self-kindness, and common humanity to promote mental well-being. Held in partnership with LGBTQ+ Western. Join in on Zoom.

MAY 21 // 3 PM

I Heart Feelings

This workshop is an opportunity to increase your emotional intelligence.  You will learn why emotions matter and how you can practice skills that enable you to better understand and regulate your emotions to live a more fulfilling and balanced life. Led by Nikki Cassidy, Psy.D. Register HERE! (please include your  WWU email when registering)

MAY 21 // 2-3 PM

Virtual Queer Community Care Space

Join Jennifer Gildner, Ph.D., and Leja Wright, M.S., in a supportive virtual queer space emphasizing community and connection. The space will provide participants a time to check-in with one another and share experiences. The Queer Space is not intended to be group therapy. The space is appropriate for anyone who identifies within the queer community and those who are questioning. You can participate using video, voice, and/or chat. To register, find “Queer Community Care Space” on Canvas or contact Leja at wrigh38@wwu.edu

MAY 22 // 10 AM

HOME: Yoga Class

A 4-week yoga series to cultivate, as Maya Angelou describes, “a safe place where we can go as we are an not be questioned.” Home is an inner sense of welcoming, belonging, growing, and nourishment. Join us for this slow flow series designed to nurture a sense of home in each of us; from my home to yours during this global moment. No experience required and all are welcome. Led by Kelsey Johnson, LMHC, RYT. Register HERE! (please include your WWU email when registering)

MAY 25 // 12-1 PM

Queer Yoga on Zoom

LGBTQ+ folks come together for community, support, and connection through this inclusive, accessible, trauma-informed yoga space. Social distancing doesn’t have to mean social isolation; we need community now more than ever. Research shows that a yoga practice has physical, mental, and emotional benefits, so you’re invited to join us for a nourishing class each week with other LGBTQ+ folks. No prior yoga experience necessary. Bring your whole self – all bodies welcome. We’ll start each week with a check-in and then move into yoga practice. Held in partnership with LGBTQ+ Western and led by Kelsey Johnson, staff therapist. Join in on Zoom.

MAY 25 // 2-3:20 PM

Veterans Center Community Check-In

Join Gabrielle from the Counseling Center for this weekly, virtual Veterans Center community check-in held during Spring Quarter. Use this time to connect with others, talk about how you're doing, and seek support through brief consultation and information about mental health resources. If you are interested in participating, please contact Gabrielle Hope-Foucault or the Veterans Center. 

MAY 27 // 12-1 PM

Ethnic Student Center Community Check-In

Join counselors from the Counseling Center for this weekly, virtual Ethnic Student Center community check-in held during Spring Quarter. Use this time to connect with others, talk about how you're doing, and seek support through brief consultation and information about mental health resources. If you are interested in participating, please contact Chris Edwards to register. 

MAY 27 // 3-4 PM

Wellness Wednesdays: Healthy Minds

Description: Join Amy Dunham, Suicide Prevention Coordinator & Chris Edwards, Psy.D.. to learn about what it means to be resilient. Discuss strategies to increase your own resilience and support mental well-being during uncertain times. Join the open Wellness Wednesdays course on Canvas or email Chris Edwards, Counseling Center Psychologist, to get the Zoom registration link.  

MAY 27 // 4-5 PM

LGBTQ+ Mindful Self-Compassion Workshop Series on Zoom

Join Chris Edwards, staff psychologist with the Counseling Center, for shared space and community healing by exploring the role of self-compassion. Now more than ever is a time to engage with the core components of mindfulness, self-kindness, and common humanity to promote mental well-being. Held in partnership with LGBTQ+ Western. Join in on Zoom.

MAY 28 // 3 PM

Mindful Moments Part 2

Take your meditation practice a step beyond mindfulness practice: contemplative practices for creating more loving relationship with ourselves and others. This is a cognitive-focused session. Led by Tonya Pepper, LMHC. Register here for the May 28 class. (please include your WWU email when registering)

MAY 28 // 2-3 PM

Virtual Queer Community Care Space

Join Jennifer Gildner, Ph.D., and Leja Wright, M.S., in a supportive virtual queer space emphasizing community and connection. The space will provide participants a time to check-in with one another and share experiences. The Queer Space is not intended to be group therapy. The space is appropriate for anyone who identifies within the queer community and those who are questioning. You can participate using video, voice, and/or chat. To register, find “Queer Community Care Space” on Canvas or contact Leja at wrigh38@wwu.edu

MAY 29 // 10 AM

HOME: Yoga Class

A 4-week yoga series to cultivate, as Maya Angelou describes, “a safe place where we can go as we are an not be questioned.” Home is an inner sense of welcoming, belonging, growing, and nourishment. Join us for this slow flow series designed to nurture a sense of home in each of us; from my home to yours during this global moment. No experience required and all are welcome. Led by Kelsey Johnson, LMHC, RYT. Register HERE! (please include your WWU email when registering)

DATE/TIME TBA

You Can Help a Friend Training 

This 90-minute training, created by the JED Foundation, will help students understand common mental health issues during college, how to recognize when a friend may need help, and how to reach out to that friend.  Students will also be shown many WWU resources available for mental health support.  There will be time for Q&A. Led by Amy Dunham, Suicide Prevention Coordinator.

DATE/TIME TBA

You Can Help a Student Training 

This 90-minute training, created by the JED Foundation, will help faculty and staff to understand common mental health issues experienced by college students, how to recognize when a student may need help, and how to reach out to that student to share concern and connect them with resources, as well as some tips for creating supportive classrooms.  The presentation will include information about many WWU resources available for mental health support, as well as a Q&A session. Led by Amy Dunham, Suicide Prevention Coordinator.