Wayne State University marked Thursday’s Mental Health Day with virtual events throughout the week.
The purpose of this day was to provide the WSU community the opportunity to connect with others, discover available resources to support their well-being and take time to prioritize and practice self-care, President M. Roy Wilson said in a Feb. 10 email to the campus community.
In a video message regarding Mental Health Day on WSU’s website, Wilson said he encourages students, faculty and staff to connect with each other and discover available resources to support their mental health.
Wilson also urged faculty to cancel or reschedule classes and homework to accommodate for Mental Health Day in his email, though doing so was not mandatory.
The Knitting, Crocheting and Conversation event, hosted by the Dean of Students Office and Warrior Life and Wellness Friday, had seven WSU community members in attendance.
Randie Kruman, director of Student Disability Services at WSU, said knitting makes her feel connected to others during the pandemic.
“I am an avid knitter –or an addicted knitter– whichever,” Kruman said. “It is a very relaxing activity… It’s just built a community that’s been wonderful.”
Knitting helps associate professor Jennifer Moss relax, she said.
“I think when I get that kind of nervous energy, you know, when all of it starts to weigh on me heavily, it's that fidgeting that's just so comforting and you have all this soft stuff in your hands and you end up with, you know, great big fluffy things,” Moss said.
Another event on Friday discussing coping with homework during the COVID-19 pandemic was hosted by Tamela Perry, an associate professor in the WSU School of Social Work.
“Even if only a few people show up, if it’s a genuine interaction, it’s worth it,” Perry said. “I’ve never had, in these small group moments, people say ‘this is not worth my time’ once they come.”
Junior computer science major Matthew Meyer said he did not look into any of the events WSU offered, preferring time away from school entirely.
“I feel that the mental health day helps, but they are few and far between. Holding a job and attending university causes a lot of stress and having a day to myself really helps,” Meyer said. “However, in my opinion, the workload before COVID already was stressful too.”
Perry said she understands not every student will want to attend events, but she still gets satisfaction when even one student attends an event.
“I love it when students get involved on campus. It’s really hard on a commuter campus to create student life basically,” Perry said.
Senior psychology major Jonathan Joseph was one of many students who did not attend any events hosted by WSU. However, he said he believes the university is making the right decision in recognizing mental health day.
“Personally, I have never attended any of the events. Not for the fact that it wasn’t useful, I just didn’t have time. However, I urge students to explore outlets like this. All it takes is one person to say the right thing to a person to inspire or motivate them to pay attention to their mental health,” Joseph said.
Arben Gacaferi is a correspondent for The South End. He can be reached at email@example.com.
News Editor Nour Rahal contributed to this story. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.