Trivia Question of the Week: True or False: you must make an appointment with a specific counselor in order to get help at the Stone Center.
Do you know what MHE stands for? Did you know that Mental Health Educators are part of Active Minds? Mental Health Educators or MHEs are Active Minds members that receive special training from the Stone Center at Wellesley about how to help connect students with existing resources. Under the overarching network of Peer Health Educators, which include Balance Health Educators, Sexual Health Educators and Sexual Assault Awareness for Everyone, the MHEs are taught specifically about issues regarding mental health and well-being. Many students receive training, but some take it one step further by becoming a MHE in their residence hall, serving not as a counselor but rather as a liaison for supporting other students and educating our community about how to find help.
MHEs also help connect students to the Stone Center by providing information for its website, calling on behalf of another student or even physically accompanying someone to the center. Scheduling a visit with a new counselor can sometimes be daunting, especially for students who have never gone before. Just know that all of the counselors are there to help you regardless of what you want to talk about. The Stone Center is only one of the many resources MHEs can connect you to. MHEs in your residence can serve another person to just have a conversation with. They can also help facilitate a discussion with your RD or connect you to a dean.
A common question MHEs are asked aside from how to contact the Stone Center is how to help a friend or know when a friend even needs help. We all know someone who has struggled with mental health, whether it is feeling stressed or sleeping less, but how do you know when your friend needs more professional help? In all of our lives we experience ups and downs, but if you notice a friend is behaving unusually or their behavior has changed dramatically, try having a conversation without judging or pushing. As students, we are not qualified nor should we try handling our friends’ lives.Rather we should focus on listening and supporting each other. Active Minds hosts events targeting these types of conversations such as listening workshops to provide tools that students can implement in their own lives.
Along with participating in Active Minds events and serving as a resource within the residence halls, Mental Health Educators also help coordinate Ask Me Anything events. Ask Me Anything is a series of panels that Haley Troy ’16 and Jessica Saifee ’16 started last fall. They feature Wellesley students who volunteer to share their stories dealing with different circumstances related to mental health, particularly on our campus. With topics ranging from disabilities to stress, students share how they have overcome certain challenges and what barriers still remain. Through these conversations we hope students are able to find a supportive network in their peers and a greater comfort in knowing that none of us are alone.
Help is always there; you just have to know where to look!
Answer to Trivia: False. You do not need to make an appointment with a specific counselor although you can. There is always a clinician-of-the-day available to handle drop-ins and in the case of emergencies.
Stone Center: 781-283-2839
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Sabrina Leung ‘18 is the Digital Editor majoring in International Relations-Political Science with a minor in History. She is best reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @sabrinatzleung on Twitter.