Utah State University’s health fair is full of students wandering the booths, collecting the small offerings from various local businesses. Students get their blood pressure tested and spin wheels for prizes ranging from hand sanitizer to bags of goldfish crackers.
In the ballroom of the student center where the event is held, students can get a free, confidential mental health screening, courtesy of university Counseling and Psychological Services.
“My name is Courtney, I’m a Reach peer with Counseling and Psychological Services on campus,” says Courtney Rivera, one of many student volunteers distributing mental health questionnaires and pens to students.
“When that is done, you’ll meet with a mental health professional who will score it, and they’ll sit down with you and talk about your score,” Rivera says.
University President Noelle Cockett recently a guide to help faculty support students struggling with mental health issues; these resources are one way the university is working to provide its students with support.
While students wait to see a mental health care professional, they’re invited to play with play dough or color in coloring books, which has been a surprise hit.
“People just really like play dough to kind of help destress, and there’s coloring as well, too. It’s just there to kind of help people have a little bit of a break,” Rivera says.
During the first two hours of the event, nearly 100 students filled out questionnaires.