Updated: Apr 29
Anika Chowdhury, Staff Writer
“Paint a heart” craft at the Wellness Table the week of Valentine’s Day. Photo//CAPS
UM-Dearborn’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) aims to assist students with their psychological and mental wellness through a range of services around campus to establish a supportive environment for all students.
One such approach to promote campus wide emotional wellness and de-stress opportunities is with CAPS’ Mental Health and Wellness Peer Educators, a peer support group composed of UM-D students who are trained by the CAPS staff.
The group hosts multiple events a week across the campus to give students a feeling of support and belonging. They also provide the chance to unwind their academic and interpersonal stress through various planned activities.
The Peer Educators have planned a series of weekly events throughout the Winter 2023 semester. This includes a Wellness Table every Wednesday and Thursday, set up near the Campus Involvement Hub in the University Center.
The goal of the Wellness Table is to provide students with chances to de-stress by indulging in different arts and crafts each week. In addition to showing their creativity, arts and crafts also helps to clear one’s mind as an alternative to putting their feelings into words.
During the week of Valentine’s Day, anyone could stop by the Wellness Table to express their creativity on a heart-shaped canvas, or to turn the canvas into an ornament to give to their loved ones.
Over the following week, CAPS has planned a sensory activity, making “seed bombs” to help students feel more relaxed.
The craft activities for the remaining semester include making sustainable fabric refreshers, friendship bracelets, bookmarks, felt plants, essential oil bath salts, bead animals, stain glasses, and painting plant pots, as well as a “propagation station”, for students to take cuttings of plants in reusable glass containers.
Apart from the Wellness Table, Peer Educators have collaborated with the Environment Interpretive Center (EIC) for weekly “Nature Walks for Mental Health.” On Thursday afternoons, students who join the thirty minute walk get to experience the natural beauty of the trails and environmental study areas surrounding campus. A short breathing exercise orchestrated by a CAPS Peer Educator is included between the walks.
In addition to on-campus activities, the Mental Health and Wellness Peer Educators also send out Weekly Wellness emails every Wednesday, which contain tips to help improve and balance life. Included in these emails are short video presentations created by the Peer Educators covering a different mental health related topic. Anyone can sign up to receive the emails by going to the CAPS website and completing the sign up form.
The CAPS staff consists of licensed therapists, offering individual and group counseling sessions either remotely or in person.
CAPS services are not only limited to designated on-campus hours, but can also be reached after hours by dialing 1-855-275-1715.