Project Persevere provides mental health awareness as finals approach

The Nutrition Care Club e-board and Rowan Gourmet Dining at the Project Persevere event. - Staff Writer / Maryela Gallardo

With finals season ready to commence in just a few weeks, students’ mental health has become the main focus on campus. In order to create a more accessible environment for students who want to better their mental health, Rowan University clubs gathered to create Project Persevere.

The event held on Thursday, April 6, was located in the grass area between James Hall and Robinson Hall. Project Persevere was hosted by Nutrition Wellness Institute (NWI), Nutrition Care Club, Exercise is Medicine, and Rowan Thrive, with hopes of providing mental health awareness on campus, allowing students to learn about mental health resources on campus. 

Each club had a table set up that held info on how their club provides resources for mental health aid. Within each table was an activity that related to their club, where students could participate to earn prizes, but the main goal was for students to learn more about the opportunities they have in getting involved with these clubs. 

Chrissy Feil, the Student Resiliency and Wellbeing Director talked about how the Rowan Thrive community helps other students.

“One of the things that we do within our office is we work with students who are experiencing challenges, whether that is financial, emotional, or academic. We want to help them identify when they’re seeing that someone might be in a serious amount of stress and give them a resource.”

Rowan Thrive’s table consisted of sticking post-it notes on four different papers that shows what signs of stress people were going through, and the goal for this was to realize that they were not alone. Many post-it notes were on all four papers, which meant that a student who was struggling on their own, could take a minute to realize that there are others on campus struggling too.

Camille Marin, the President of the Nutrition Care Club, gave insight on what her hopes were for this event.

“I just hope that people know that Rowan University and our clubs, we care and value mental health,” Marin said. “We usually try to do it during the end of the semester when finals are occurring, just because we know that most people tend to put their mental health to the side.”

She stresses the importance of reminding students that they should be allowed to take a break and prioritize themselves during this period in the semester. Her table included a poster that demonstrated ways to eat foods that promote physical and mental health while reducing the risk of disease. They compared both having these healthy foods and mental health, which would aid in uplifting students’ moods or taking care of their bodies. 

Charles Thumm, the president of the NWI, was at their table promoting physical health by teaching students about different yoga poses.

He explains further, “We’re running an exercise and yoga challenge, so if you do three exercises or yoga poses successfully, you win different prizes.”

The NWI table gave information on how practicing physical health, through yoga, could also help in students’ mental health. 

Even though many of these tables spoke about the importance of practicing physical health, they were still able to relate it back to mental health. This is also helpful for student-athletes, who feel as if they can’t find the time to prioritize their mental health, with all of the practicings for games that they have to do.

Like the Exercise is Medicine table stated, it doesn’t have to be a hardcore workout at the gym, but simply walking around on campus aids in clearing the mind. This event was open to all Rowan University students and faculty because mental health is important for everyone. 

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