Fair highlights student health options

Shared from The STAR

Health and wellness is extremely important to think about as a college student. Students are constantly under pressure with classes, homework, and extracurriculars like clubs or Greek life. Not to mention many people have jobs outside of school as well. With all of this going on, stress is unfortunately inevitable. However, students should be aware that there are many resources available to them both on campus and within the community to help them get through difficult times. 

On Wednesday, Sept. 26, Sonoma State University offered a Health and Wellness Fair in the Seawolf Plaza for different organizations to come promote their programs to the students. A huge resource available to students right on campus is our Counseling and Psychological Services, or CAPS. They provide free counseling and therapy for students who are going through a hard time, whether it be stress, anxiety, depression, or other issues. They have also been offering a wide variety of discussion groups throughout the week, which anyone can attend.

“We want students to know that it’s okay to talk about things,” said student CAPS member, Kayla Moceri. “This year is the first time we’ve reached a waitlist because so many students are coming in for our services. We want to help as many people as we can, so we’re really advocating for people to go to the groups this year, too.”

To meet the demand of students, CAPs is looking to add more psychologists to their staff in order for there to be more available appointment times. Until then, the discussion groups during the week are a great alternative because anyone can drop in, students don’t need an appointment. There are a variety of different groups such as the Women of Color Collective, Healing After Sexual Assault, People of Color Support Group, and many more that you can find on their website.

In addition to CAPS, students have access to many other resources surrounding us in the community. One of them is the Full Heart Treatment Center in Santa Rosa, which is an intensive outpatient program for disordered eating. They offer support for people who are going through this, as well as psychotherapy and nutrition support.

“We have Wednesday night group sessions from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. and they’re free, so anyone can drop in when they would like,” said registered dietitian Janelle Estournes.

The Songbird Community Healing Center in Cotati is another local resource. They offer a wide variety of programs and wellbeing services that students are encouraged to check out.

“We’re very excited for our Hands of Gold Healing Clinic this year, where people can receive a great deal of support for different issues they’re facing.” said Director Jasmine Gold. “We usually have about six to ten practitioners that expertise in certain skills at these clinics. Additionally, we offer walk-in hours where people are welcome to drop by. We want students to be able to see that there’s an alternative to the medical system and more holistic approaches to healing,”

A fun wellness event that’s coming up is the second annual Sonoma County Yoga Festival from Oct. 19 through 21. It’s going to take place in the SOMO Village  in Rohnert Park. There will be classes and workshops for people to enjoy, as well as local food and live music.

“We really want students to check it out and get more involved within the yoga community because it’s so beneficial,” said Maddie Mackey, Sonoma State alumni and now yoga instructor. 

“Sometimes when people are in college they don’t notice that just a little breathing and self-care goes a long way. We’re told to stay productive and join clubs and all these things, when sometimes doing nothing is the best thing for you. This festival is designed to be a way to get people excited about meditating and doing yoga, and the yoga community is for all ages,” said Zachary McCloskey, Sonoma County Yoga Festival general manager.

Students can buy discounted tickets online at sonomacountymusicfestival.com and use the coupon code “riseaboveyoga” which will give them an additional 30 percent off. InMotion classes at the Recreation Center will be raffling off tickets to students throughout the next few weeks.

With all of this information, students should know that they are not alone and there are many resources surrounding them. Whatever issues they’re facing, many people are willing to help them get through it.

Written by Carly Olsen, Staff Writer