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Self-care September: A mental health refresh


Students work to improve their overall well-being during National Self-Care Awareness Month.  Photo by Grace Hensley.

RYANN BAHNLINE | STAFF REPORTER | rbahnline@butler.edu

September is National Self-Care Awareness Month. Three weeks into the semester, students may feel overwhelmed with coursework and the pressure to succeed. Both Counseling and Consultation Services, CCS, as well as the Student Government Association, SGA, offer options to Butler students to get the support they need. Both groups believe it is important for students to remember how to take care of themselves mentally. 

Self-Care Awareness Month was first observed beginning in 2017 with the goal of reminding people that taking care of themselves is essential. Self-care examples include getting a massage, going for a walk or going to the gym, but it can be anything that contributes to someone’s overall well-being. The National Day Calendar website said that “the kindness we show ourselves will manifest into a kinder world.” 

Counseling and Consultation Services 

CCS is a hub for mental health help and support for students. Director of CCS Keith Magnus has worked with the center for the past 22 years to bring support to students in a variety of ways. 

Magnus said that the main services offered by CCS are individual and group therapy, along with one or two-time consultations. 

CCS also offers outreach programs, whether that be for classes, residence halls or Greek systems, where staff from CCS provide information about topics relating to anxiety or depression. 

Magnus said that by far, the most common concern that affects students is anxiety. Depression is the second most common, followed by relationship issues and internal conflicts about sexual orientation and identity. 

Even if students do not think traditional therapy is for them, CCS offers students a place to take a break from college life. CCS is hosting an open house for their UNWIND relaxation room on Sept. 7. In the room, students can utilize a massage chair, relax by a salt lamp and listen to the relaxing sounds of a fountain while coloring or doing a puzzle. 

“We just tried to outfit [the room] with as many options [that we could],” Magnus said. “It’s meant to be a space to get away and pause and slow down.” 

Julia Fryrear, a junior sociology and criminology major, said there is a lack of knowledge about the resources available for students. 

“A lot of people only know about the counseling being really backed up,” Fryrear said. “It’s hard when one-on-one sessions aren’t super available [in years past].” 

Fryrear said that a lot of the programs like group counseling or events with the therapy dogs Scooter and Bella, are not promoted well enough. 

CCS also offers suicide prevention training for anyone interested. This service is called Campus Connect. 

“Essentially, we try to train people on knowing the warning signs about suicide,” Magnus said.  “[We] teach some tips for intervening … like what to say and how to say it.” 

For students to get involved with Campus Connect, they just need to email CCS. CCS can be reached by phone at 317-940-9385 or via Magnus at kmagnus@butler.edu. Typically, Campus Connect is used with student leader groups, athletics, SGA and Greek houses. 

Teletherapy and Preventia 

In March of 2022, CCS also partnered with Preventia, a tele-mental health service. 

Last year, the demand for the services offered at CCS was so high that there was a waitlist for students to receive services. 

“We had so many students coming in, and they were waiting and waiting, and we couldn’t get to everybody, so we partnered with Preventia,” Magnus said. 

Preventia is a no-cost service available to Butler students, paid for by the office of student affairs. Students get 10 free teletherapy sessions with a licensed clinician. All students are able to use the service and do not need to have previously been to CCS or have therapy experience. 

To access this service, students need to download the LIFE extend app as well as the Preventia app. After downloading both apps, students will access mental and behavioral health care providers through the Preventia care tile in LIFE extend. Students should be sure to log in with their Butler credentials using this unique sign-in link. More questions regarding Preventia and Butler can be found on the Precision Wellness website

Student Government Association 

Elijah Heslop, a junior computer science and combined psychology and philosophy double major, is the director of the mental health and well-being board of SGA. Heslop was appointed by the SGA executive team at the end of the 2021-22 school year. Heslop is currently in the process of hiring for his board and developing more plans for the future. An application for a position on Heslop’s board went live on Aug. 23 and will close Thursday, Sept. 8. Selections will be based upon application and interviews. 

Heslop said that as a student, he wants to bring awareness to the way students can take care of their mental health. 

“I recognized that at Butler and SGA, we’re not serving the student body in the best way possible for mental health” Heslop said. 

However, SGA does provide free Uber rides to different stress centers and hospitals in the area. This includes the St. Vincent Stress Center, Indiana Youth Group and the Julian Center. Students can go to any of these in a high-stress, emergency situation and receive care. To join Uber under SGA, Butler students use the invitation sent to their email in October of 2021 or follow the Uber sign-up guide using their Butler email.





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