Welcome new and returning Shockers to the start of what is hopefully a wonderful semester. As your assistant vice president for wellness, I want to welcome you and wish you success and well-being in the new academic year.
It was 25 years ago when my journey at Wichita State began as a first generation, transfer student. That was a tough year for me with many transitions. Periods of transition and stress make us more vulnerable to problems with our health. It’s important to prioritize self-care and create a balanced lifestyle while navigating the changes of a new school year.
I had lost contact with my support system and put a lot of energy into one relationship, and when that relationship started to have conflict, I found myself experiencing my first clinical depression. Sadly, I had no idea there were quality health services available to me as a student back then. We just didn’t talk about mental health when I was student. Thankfully, I made it through that first semester by getting involved and finding new support.
That’s why WSU developed the Suspenders4Hope program to help create a campus community that supports each other’s well-being, one where we talk about mental health openly, check in on one another, and ask for help early before things get worse.
I hope you know when you find yourself experiencing challenges with your health, the Student Wellness Center is your resource for all your physical and mental health care needs. Some of the services include free COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, appointments for acute illnesses, preventative care, individual and group counseling. Quality providers and advanced graduate students are available to assist you at very affordable rates, and we won’t turn any student away for inability to pay.
Asking for help is a sign of strength. It is not a weakness and it will help you reach your goals. During these first weeks, allow yourself to experience all the excitement and anxiety the start of a new semester brings, but take it one step at a time and remember at Wichita State, #WeSupportU!
Dr. Jessica Provines