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SMC student wellness committee gives encouragement and advice

| Friday, April 3, 2020

The Saint Mary’s College Kristine Anderson Trustey Student Wellness Program committee is working to provide students resources to remain healthy during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Committee member and assistant athletic trainer Katie Knisely said the committee will continue to reach out to students monthly and plan events using five “pillars of wellness.”

“The wellness program plans to provide updates and information on its Facebook and Instagram pages and the Student Wellness Program page on the Saint Mary’s College website on a monthly basis,” Knisely said. “We use these platforms and emails to help get the word out to students about events and education centered around our pillars of wellness: mind, body, spirit, emotional and financial well-being.”

Knisely said the team has also been working to create new programming in light of the pandemic.

“We have been coordinating with our partners around campus to provide assistance with their upcoming events and to create new ones with our pillars of wellness included in the programming,” Knisely said.

According to the website, upcoming events will include seminars about stress management and creating healthy mindsets. These events will take place virtually and students may sign up online. Knisely said that the committee also welcomes student input when planning future events.

“We try to balance out our programming to cover our five pillars of wellness,” Knisely said. ”That being said, we pay attention to current events (and the) needs and interests of our students.”

In a March 28 email, Knisely shared the first installment of the committee’s resources with students — an attachment that included a promise to support Saint Mary’s students during the pandemic.

“Most people will not understand the magnitude of the loss you may feel. Please know that Saint Mary’s College is still here for you,” the document said. “We can help support and comfort you during this time. … We will get through this, we will prevail as a nation and as the Belles of Saint Mary’s.”

It also included a list of free workout and mediation apps. Additionally, students now can join virtual PE classes by contacting the instructor either over Facebook or email.

The document also provided students with the National Alliance on Mental Illness’ self-care strategies, emphasizing the importance of routine, physical activity and mindfulness in regulating mental health.

Knisely said students struggling mentally can still contact the Health and Counseling Center and the Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO).

“The best way to get in touch with Health and Counseling would be to call their front desk number 574-284-4805, or emailing non-emergency only to [email protected],” Knisely said. “Additionally, the BAVO office number is 574-284-4081 or you can send an email to [email protected].”

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About Genevieve Coleman

Genevieve Coleman is a junior at Saint Mary's majoring in English literature and secondary education with minors in theatre and creative writing. She currently serves as Saint Mary's News Editor.

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