SUNY New Paltz’s annual Mental Health Fair was held on Wed. Sept. 27 in the Student Union Building from 12-2 PM. The fair allows for students to become familiar with on-campus and community-based mental health resources.
The event was sponsored by Holistic Hawks, Active Minds and the New Paltz Psychology Association. Other mental health organizations from around campus gathered including Oasis/Haven, Student Resilience Advocates and the Psychological Counseling Center (PCC).
Snacks, ice water and hot beverages such as coffee and tea were all provided at the fair. There were several raffles and giveaways throughout the duration of the event.
Student Psychology Resilience Advocates is a team of six SUNY New Paltz student leaders who are helping their peers to cope with stress, anxiety and overall mental wellbeing. Graduate student Omar Graves shared that their goal is to “host events for students and really try and be there for them, because all of our mental health matters.”
The PCC was providing free depression and resilience screenings for attendees to aid in identifying resilience and coping skills.
Holistic Hawks offers a mindful approach to mental health by utilizing holistic strategies.SUNY New Paltz’s LGBTQ+ Resources also tabled at the fair. They had pride and equality stickers as well as a bucket filled with pronoun pins.
Oasis/Haven is a center for confidential peer support from students for students. Graduate student Seth Davis revealed that “I think there’s a boundary of people not letting themselves reach out but also not knowing about the resources well, so it’s multifaceted.”
The Psychology Association is a club on campus for psychology majors, those who are interested in psychology, or simply a safe space for stress-busting activities and making new friends.
Active Minds is a mental health activism club. They will be hosting a workshop called “No Body Talk.” President Kloe Blumenthal shared that the event aims to “shift the conversation and how we complement and converse with people.” This workshop will explore why complementing one’s personality traits can be far more effective and less harmful than complimenting someone’s physical attributes. Active Minds meets on Tuesday nights at 6 p.m. in SUB 401.
Other local resources were tabling at the fair to help raise awareness for mental health. Samadhi is a recovery community outreach center in Kingston serving all people who suffer from any kind of addiction, as well as supporting their loved ones. The New Paltz University Police Department was there to support their community.
The Ulster County Opioid Response as County Law Enforcement (ORACLE) initiative was providing free pop-up narcan training to attendees. The ORACLE was created by the Ulster County Sheriff’s department and is an expert panel of law enforcement leaders taking a coordinated approach to doing their part in helping the opioid crisis.
Westchester Medical Center provided information about themselves as a local resource that can benefit New Paltz and surrounding communities.
The next Mental Health Fair is set to take place in the spring semester of 2023, although the exact date has not yet been announced.