Celebrate Mental Health Festival encourages self care before finals

Charlotte Block, Contributing Reporter

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Tulane University’s National Alliance on Mental Illness chapter hosted its annual Celebrate Mental Health Festival on Newcomb Quadrangle on Saturday, Nov. 9. 

NAMI is “dedicated to ending the stigma surrounding mental illness, promoting mental health, and educating the campus community about available resources,” according to its OrgSync page.  

NAMI supported a variety of student organizations on Saturday to promote and educate students on mental, emotional and physical health topics. Numerous organizations participated in Saturday’s festival, including Tulane Emergency Medical Services, CAPS for Counseling Services, Sexual Aggression Peer Hotline and Education, Tulane Panhellenic Council, the meditation club, One Love, Project Heal and Tulane Athletics.

Nearly all organizations provided their own tailored resources such as pamphlets and contact information for their services. Tables were run by various organization members and offered answers about organizations’ efforts while providing possible new membership opportunities.

“We’re trying to get the broader Tulane community, like all of these organizations we have here involved in supporting the student body in celebrating their mental health, taking care of their mental health, and spreading positivity around campus today,” NAMI Secretary Sloan Clay said. 

Tulane Soundwave, the Tulane Marching Band Drumline and local artists performed live music, highlighting New Orleans jazz style music. NAMI also provided free pizza, donuts and soda refreshments.  

Activities varied from table to table, but all aimed to support students’ physical, mental and emotional well being. Bracelet making, hula hoop contests, tie-dye stations, blowing bubbles, herbal tea and an Orbeez station were all options offered at different tables. These activities aimed to engage the greater Tulane community on having open, critical conversations about the importance of self care and seeking help when needed.   

Tulane University Peer Health Educators from The Well, a division of Tulane Campus Health, were also present. 

“We are peer health educators so our jobs are to help The Well to disperse different information and supplies that are pertinent to college health so things like mental health, physical health, sexual health, sleep and stress,” Addie Heifetz said. “If you’re able to — reach out [to campus services] because there are resources for you and there are people to be there for you and you aren’t alone at all.”

As final exams approach, Tulane students are welcomed and advised to create their own stress-relieving activities and remember to partake in their well-enjoyed hobbies and friendships for additional support. 

“I think [it’s] easier for a lot of people when they have a community that can help and support them so [being able to] seek out people that are focused on self-awareness and self-love and seeking this support in your life,” Lila Pell, secretary of Tulane’s meditation club, said. 

Students should seek out campus services if needed through the CAPS website and number. To schedule an appointment, students should call CAPS Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. at 504-314-2277. If help is urgent, contact their 24/7 crisis line at 504-264-6074. 

Additional Resources: 

National Resources: 24/7

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Tulane Resources:

Student Resources & Support Services 504-314-2160

Tulane Police Department 504-865-5911

The Line (Call or Text 24/7) 504-264-6074