The Center for Health and Wellness (CHW) at the university is creating a mindfulness room for students with the help of Psi Chi, the psychology honor society, and Capital University’s Resources and Encouragement for Students (C.U.R.E.S.) fundraising.
Many students love to visit Archer, the university’s faculty dog. The wellness room at Denison University inspired Meredith Fine, who has her MSW and LISW-S (master of social work and licensed independent social worker) from The Ohio State University, to create a mindfulness room at the university at the Center for Health and Wellness.
Fine had the mindfulness room on her mind for years, but this idea is now being brought to life thanks to funding from the Center for Health and Wellness and contributions from Psi Chi and C.U.R.E.S. Fine was ecstatic her plan was finally able to be set in motion.
According to Fine, the purpose of this room is to have a space on campus focused on relaxation for students, “[a] self care, quiet space students can come and hang out without expectations and worries,” which according to Caitlyn Arheit, third-year student and treasurer of Psi Chi, makes the mindfulness room different than other study spaces and “a good place to refocus.”
Since the Center of Health and Wellness offers medical services (same-day care, urgent care facilities, and appointments with specialists through the Ohio State University) and mental health counseling services like “short term counseling, trainings/workshops, single-session counseling, consultations for individuals or groups, and referrals to community providers for more specialized or long-term care.” Being in the Center for Health and Wellness, mental health is the focus of this room; therefore, getting help is even easier.
The mindfulness room will have “snacks, a microwave, coloring, some journals [students] could use, mindfulness toys, comfort pillows, nice lighting, some water feature that’s relaxing,” said Fine. Archer will also reside in the mindfulness room, as people want a space where they can visit him in the Center for Health and Wellness.
Psi Chi is a professional international honor society fraternity who offers resources for fellow psychology majors and minors, in collaboration with C.U.R.E.S. to contribute fundraised money to the development of the mindfulness room.
They offer free baked goods such as donuts, cookies and Halloween candy and ask for donations. Both Psi Chi and C.U.R.E.S. understand that students can only donate so much, therefore, they made donations optional so students can still take a baked good and be aware of the mindfulness room to come. They are appreciative of all the generous donations.
On Oct. 16–their first out of three tabling events for the month—they raised $63. In their next two tablings, Cookies for a Cause and Halloween Treats for a Cause, they’ll assess how many more tabling events or restaurant fundraisers are needed to generate more funds, especially for a vibrating chair.
Mindfulness or the original concept, “sati” comes from Buddhist and Hindu teachings of “a state of active, open attention to the present” because the present is easily forgotten. Awareness and acceptance is important to gain perspective to address stress or anxiety and lead to relaxation.
Mental health is an initiative the university wants to improve upon by adding events such as Mindfulness Mondays through the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and Trinity Lutheran Seminary.
For now the mindfulness room will remain a hang out space and depending on its resulting success, Fine will consider making a bigger space to hold similar mindfulness events for a larger group.