by Ricky Pittman
The Black American Council Wellness Day was held on Wednesday, September 27 from 11:00 a.m to 2:00 p.m in the Metro Courtyard and MCC lobby. It was facilitated because college students need a mentally and emotionally healthy outlet, now more than ever. As coursework becomes more demanding and real life stressors begin to crop up, students can feel increased pressure to perform. This increased stress can have adverse effects on students’ performance and more importantly, their mental health.
During the Wellness Day, students treated themselves to a large array of therapeutic activities to actualize healing and relaxation. These activities included sound therapy, holistic Reiki therapy, line dancing, healthy eating, and time well spent with trained therapy dogs. These activities were exhibited for two primary reasons: to help students suffering in crisis in real time and to expose students to healthy practices that can help them in the future.
Holistic Reiki sessions were made possible to Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) students by Tiera Cross, the owner and operator of Passion Project Health and Wellness. Cross is a licensed mental health and chemical dependency counselor. She discussed coping skills for stress management incorporating beautiful crystals and sage incents. Cross also performed Reiki on willing participants. Reiki is an ancient Buddist energy healing practice that takes many years to master.
Alexis Prewitt, owner of Beneficial Refresh served delicious cold pressed juices designed to heal and rejuvenate the body with the fruits, vitamins and minerals of the earth. Wellness Day also hosted line dancing led by Raishadah Weaver and counseling services led by Barbara Winston.
Representatives from the student organization , Active Minds, were also present to destigmatize mental illness; Active minds was inspired by a Alison Malmon, a Tri-C Student who lost her brother to suicide. It aims to raise awareness for mental health in college students and prevent crises.
Last, but certainly not least, trained therapy dogs, Monte, Rory and Maisie, were stationed in the Metro campus courtyard to give stress relief to students in distress and appeal to the individual’s soft side. Simply walking into the room with these dogs is a calming cuteness overload!
Wellness Day is crucial for the health and wellbeing of students who often come from stressful and traumatic backgrounds. They may feel they have nowhere to go and nothing to turn to. College education carries a great deal of weight and significance in our society and if students aren’t feeling well they can’t perform well. Poor performance can make students feel even worse and can lead students to experience burnout. For these reasons it’s important to teach students to take care of themselves first, because less stress equals more success.
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