Mental Health Awareness Week at JU

Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. However, mental illness affects everyone directly or indirectly through family, friends, or coworkers. That is why each year, during the first week of October, the National Alliance on Mental Illness and participants across the country raise awareness of mental illness, fight discrimination, and provide support through Mental Illness Awareness Week. This year, the Psychology Club at Johnson University, in cooperation with the Dean of Chapel, is hosting a Mental Health Awareness week in support of this effort. The small groups below occur in lieu of traditional chapel groups on Wednesday, October 6, on the JUTN campus at 9:00 a.m. Students and the broader campus community are welcome to attend a group of their choice, and students will receive a chapel credit.

Chapel Groups

Leading from Our “Weaknesses”
Presented by Taylor Brown (PW Gym)
How do you lead and minister to people while having your own mental health issues? Instead of seeing them as barriers, perhaps they are the direct pathways to glorifying God. This workshop will be a casual conversation about entering ministry with your eyes fully open about the goodness of God and our own limitations.

Relaxation with Your Senses
Presented by Kindal Akers, M.A. (PW 253)
“Relaxation with Your Senses” will teach participants practical tools to manage emotions like anxiety, stress, and low mood using hands-on, sensory-based activities. Attendees will learn how emotions and experiences impact their bodies and brains and understand how to use sensory input to regulate and calm their stress response systems.

Becoming a Trauma-Responsive Faith Community
Presented by Keith Bailey, Ph.D. (PW 213)
Helping others heal from trauma cannot be the responsibility of clinical professionals alone; we must move trauma-informed strategies from the clinic to the community. This group will explore how to equip faith communities, which are uniquely called to build healthy relationships and support children, families, and individuals, for trauma-responsive care.

Nature Walk
Presented by Dr. Joe Gordon (Meet at the front of the Graham Center)
Spending time in nature is linked to both cognitive benefits and improvements in mood, mental health, and emotional well-being. Join Dr. Joe Gordon for an opportunity to engage in a brief nature walk on the JU campus. This group is limited to 10 people; email to sign up. Be sure to wear appropriate clothes and shoes for walking.

Self-Care in College
Presented by Sara and Megan, UCC Grad Student Therapists (RH 215)
If you’re a student you’ve got a lot of demands on your time. This workshop will help you to pause and consider how you’re doing & what you might need on the bumpy road of life.

Carry the Bedpan like Royalty
Presented by Dave Wheeler (RPC 155)
After being raised in a preacher’s home and following 48 years of ministry, David is well aware of the delights and dangers of Christian ministry and leadership. He considers himself a “wounded healer.” He’ll share his insights and offer some suggestions for long-term effectiveness in these vital vocations.

Arts in Mental Health
Presented by Hunter and Luke, UCC Grad Student Therapists (RH 217)
Our thoughts can race, our emotions can feel jumbled, and our bodies can be tense or uneasy. Art can provide a simple way to express & give words to the intangible we experience. Come try different ways to connect with color and creativity—no skills required!

Body Prayer
Presented by Dr. Jody Owens (PW 227)
Our bodies are the vehicles through which we live the spiritual life – which is why Paul urges us to offer our bodies as living sacrifices. Join Dr. Owens as he leads us through a way to pray our bodies to God’s service. It isn’t required, but you might like to bring a mat or a small pillow to the session.

Healthy Relationships
Presented by Michael and Brooke, UCC Grad Student Therapists (RH 216)
What is a “healthy” relationship, and how do we create safety for ourselves and others in relationships? Learn about the different ways we interact with one another and how we can move toward health.

Technology and Mental Health
Presented by Mike and Emily (RH 218)
Technology is an integrated part of our lives these days. How do you engage with technology in your own life, and in what ways does it make life better or harder? Learn how technology can enhance your mental health, as well as ways to keep it in check.

Setting Boundaries
Presented by Alexis Castle, LPC-MHSP (PW 226)
“Boundaries are very important, right? Everyone says, “You need to set boundaries,” but what does that even mean? Boundaries can be a nebulous concept in our society. However, in this discussion Alexis will define the concept of boundaries and share how to practically implement them into your life. The group will also talk about how boundaries can cultivate creativity, deepen relationships, build interpersonal trust and deepen self-love.

Men & Mental Health: The Unknown?
Presented by Dr. Sean Ridge (PW 153)
How does someone navigate unknown territory? For many men, talking about mental health is awkward at best, possibly humiliating at worst, and often just plain avoided. In our small group, we will highlight some of the challenges when facing this unknown, as well as some practical thoughts on how to intentionally invest in your health.

Practicing Mindfulness
Presented by Heather, UCC Grad Student Therapist (PW 152)
If it’s hard for you to focus, unwind, or slow down, this workshop will introduce you to simple tools to practice just that. Mindfulness is a good skill for anyone and can be helpful in managing anxiety or simply trying to fall asleep at night.

Sleep Hygiene
Presented by Kealy Mead, RN (EAC Student Lounge)
Sleep is so important, but good sleep habits (especially in college) can often go ignored. This can easily cause a decline in our physical and mental health. We will discuss obstacles to good sleep and learn some techniques that help foster better sleep hygiene. We might even take a little nap for some practice.

Presented by Megan Egli (Canfield Room)
Our bodies are good messengers; often they perceive the effects of stress before our minds do. Yoga provides a way of connecting to ourselves through our bodies in a holistic way which can point us toward a greater understanding of our mental well-being and give us tools for caring for our minds, bodies, and spirits. This workshop will include a short yoga practice, so please dress comfortably and bring a yoga mat or blanket if you have one.

Women’s Mental Health
Presented by Kayla Senor & Kristi Gilmore (PW 228)
A safe place for women to discuss their experiences with mental health. We’ll look at the unique experiences and stigmas women face when it comes to mental health and discuss how to move forward.