Tag: mental health

Green Bandana Project at MTU

The Bandana Project was founded on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus in 2016. The Green Bandana project is a simple – yet innovative suicide prevention campaign and mental health awareness movement that uses backpacks and bandanas to support peers.

What exactly is the Green Bandana Project?

  • Spreading awareness and resources for those with mental health illnesses
  • Ending the stigma around mental health
  • Being an advocate and reinforcing solidarity #letstalkaboutit

Members tie a green bandana to their backpacks to signify they are in possession of region-specific and national resources (shown below). Members pledge to support the mental health of individuals and reject the stigma associated with mental illness. The Green Bandana project normalizes and de-stigmatizes getting help while providing invaluable, unspoken solidarity with those struggling.

The Pledge:

  • I will listen if you need someone to talk to.
  • I will talk to someone if I need to be listened to.
  • I will help you find someone to talk to if you need more support.
  • I will find someone to talk to if I need more support.
  • I will be accepting. I will be honest.
  • I will see a person in need of support, and not just their challenges.
  • With this pledge, I am declaring support for those dealing with depression and/or anxiety. You can talk to me. I want to help. You are way too important to feel alone today.

You are responsible for:

  • Handing out resource cards and explaining what they are
  • Wearing the bandana

You are NOT responsible for:

  • Providing mental health counseling
  • Putting yourself or others at risk in a mental health situation

Where to get a Green Bandana:

  • HuskyFan (Fisher Hall – across from 136)
  • The 3rd floor of the Admin (The Center for Student Mental Health and Well-being)
  • Admin 234

This October is MTU’s Mental Health Awareness Month

This month, the Center for Student Mental Health and Well-being is turning a spotlight on our student’s’ ability to adopt healthy behaviors that promote and protect their mental health. October 2nd – October 8th, 2022, is ‘National Mental Illness Awareness Week’ in the U.S., and on Monday, October 10th, the World Health Organization’s global initiative ‘World Mental Health Day’ is observed. This global attention to mental health provides us with an opportunity to raise awareness and mobilize efforts on campus in support of our students’ mental well-being.   

One-in-five adults in the U.S. experience a mental illness each year. Mental health is an essential component to our overall well-being. When we feel mentally well, we can work productively, enjoy free time, and contribute actively to our communities. Fortunately, promoting and protecting our mental health is often even more simple than we realize.  

Connect Well: Find your people 

  • Stay connected… schedule regular time with family and friends who help you to cope in positive ways
  • Focus on developing quality relationships over quantity, invest in a few close friends with similar attitudes, interests and values
  • Be friendly to strangers – small conversational moments (with a cashier or a neighbor) can often make a difference in building a sense of connection

Recharge Well: Make time to rest and reflect

  • Practice gratitude… be specific -and write down!- the things you are grateful for each day
  • Incorporate relaxation exercises -meditation or calming breaths- into your daily routines. Apps such as Calm, HeadSpace, or The Mindfulness App are a good place to start
  • Schedule an activity during the day that brings you pleasure – listening to music, time with a good book, a walk with a friend, or watching a funny movie

Live Well: Learn and shape the life you want

  • Learn to identify and challenge negative or unhelpful thoughts
  • In moments of stress, try guided imagery, such as this guided visualization to calm your mind
  • Keep a journal to track your thoughts and feelings

Play Well: Care for your physical self

  • Stick to the basics
    • Keep a morning and nighttime routine; try to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night
    • Drink water and eat well-balanced meals at regular intervals 
    • Move your body in ways that you like (walk, dance, yoga, or ski!) every day
    • Avoid drinking excess caffeine

To elevate the commitment we have to mental health and to strengthen the tools and resources available to students, we are inviting you to connect, recharge, live, and play with us this month through various workshops and events happening all around campus.

Take a look at our calendar of events so that you can join us and begin learning how to take care of what matters most… you! Mental health matters – Make caring for your mind a priority.

Find out more about creating your own unique ‘Be Well’ plan to promote and protect your mental health and follow us on Instagram: @mtu_wellbeing Facebook: Michigan Tech WellBeing or Twitter: @mtu_wellbeing 

#itsoktonotbeok #mentalhealthawarenessmonth

Mindful Eating

Part of mental health and well-being in college includes looking at mindful eating. Mindful eating is being aware of what you are consuming and being attentive during the act of eating. While this is easier said than done, one Netflix special may make it a little bit easier to process.

Cooked on Netflix is a short series looking at how food can shape our world. The narrator and host, Michael Pollan, is an acclaimed writer who is known for taking extra steps when doing his writing. In his series Cooked, he meets with masters of the field, to take a deeper look at the relationship cultivated between themselves and food. Between old-world cheese-making and the time and care put into making bread dough, it can be an inspiration to take a closer look at your food.

As a college student who puts effort into everything other than cooking and as a person who hates to cook – I found this series inspirational. Something I’ve always wanted to improve on was what foods I was consuming and how I was consuming them. Getting home in the evening after classes and work, sometimes I make the quickest thing, so I can just simply eat. I am not taking the time to make a meal out of what I am eating and just consuming it as quickly as possible instead. Watching Michael Pollan talk with people who were so passionate about the time and energy put towards what they were making, made me want to take a second look at how I eat.

If you’re interested, check out the trailer here or visit the resources below to find out more on mindful eating.

*Some other great sources that explain more about mindful eating can be found below!

  1. Mindful Self-Talk Leads to Mindful Eating
  2. UCookbook from CampusWell
  3. 8 Steps to Mindful Eating
  4. Mindful Eating: The Art of Presence While You Eat

*Thank you to Meredith Raasio for contributing to this article and finding the above resources.

What is NAMI?

The National Alliance on Mental Illness or NAMI for short is just that.

Providing support, education, signs/symptoms, and much more, NAMI focuses on providing support to those who are affected by mental illness.

Recently on our Instagram page, we put up some stories with questions from NAMI’s StigmaFree quiz. Our goal was to help engage our student population and get people thinking about what they can do to support their friends, family, and community members who are affected. NAMI is a great resource that we wanted to make available during this time, as it is Suicide Awareness Month. Educating ourselves and others and providing resources is a small step we can take to help build a StigmaFree environment on campus. Not only does NAMI offer a quiz to help individuals think about their actions, but they also have an online pledge that can be taken. This pledge allows you to help facilitate the change in which NAMI is hoping to achieve – ending stigma and creating positive environments for those affected by mental illness.

It is rare that any of us are perfect and will walk around without a bias on the occasion, but participating in the quiz and taking the pledge, can help us put a little more accountability on one another to work on creating safe and inviting environments around our campus. If you would like to learn more about who NAMI is and what they do, go to this link.