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Take advantage of your vision benefits

Take advantage of your vision benefits

Start your summer with the perfect pair of glasses or sunglasses! Do you wear contacts? We have those too!

Right now is the perfect time for graduate and international students to take advantage of their vision benefits through WSU student insurance. Our vision clinic is open all summer long and ready to help you!

Your $200 hardware benefit can go towards glasses, prescription sunglasses, or contact lenses. We even have a Cougar Package that includes selected frames, single vision polycarbonate lenses, and an anti-reflective coating for $200.

If you don’t have a vision prescription, it’s still important to visit your eye doctor every one to two years.

Have any questions about your insurance benefit? Please feel free to contact us. To book your appointment, call or schedule online through our Patient Portal.

Campus representatives review mental health policies

Campus representatives review mental health policies

Thirty members of the Campus Mental Health Collaborative, including students, staff, and faculty, met last month with an expert from The JED Foundation to begin developing a comprehensive plan for suicide prevention and mental health promotion for WSU Pullman students.

The JED Foundation representative opened the meeting with the foundational recommendation that supporting students’ emotional well-being needs to be a campus-wide effort. From high-level administrators to part-time employees, we can all play critical roles in suicide prevention and mental health promotion efforts. Specifically, we need to support efforts that allow for early detection and effective intervention when a student is struggling.

In fall, members of the collaborative completed a self-assessment of relevant policies and programs. The JED Foundation representative spent the bulk of the three-hour meeting last month reviewing the WSU self-assessment and providing feedback in the nine key areas outlined below, as described in the JED model of suicide prevention:

Campus policies. Policies help establish norms, build awareness, and improve the quality of health services available to students.

Life skills development. Developing strong life skills helps students cope with stress. Some critical areas include managing friendships and relationships, problem solving, decision-making, identifying and managing emotions, healthy living, and understanding identity.

Connectedness. Research shows loneliness and isolation are significant risk factors for mental health problems and/or suicidal behavior. Students who feel connected to campus and have support from friends and family are better equipped to handle the stresses of college life.

Academic performance. Mental health is closely tied to academic performance, and the impact goes both ways. Stress from school can affect students’ mental health, and mental health issues can affect academic performance.

Student wellness. It’s important for students to understand how overall wellness, mental health, and academic performance are interrelated.

Identify students at risk. Studies show many college students who need help do not seek it out on their own.

Increase help-seeking behavior. Students are often unaware of the mental health resources available to them, feel unsure about insurance coverage and costs, or face some other barrier to seeking help.

Provide mental health and substance use disorder services. Offering high-quality mental health services is critical for preventing substance abuse among students and improving academic success.

Means restriction and environmental safety. Removing or limiting means to self-harm can help prevent suicide and improve student safety.

As a next step, the collaborative will identify priority action areas. Subscribe to our mailing list for updates.

Get personalized stress management tips

Get personalized stress management tips

Feeling stressed, need help coping, or just want personalized stress management techniques? We can help! This semester we’re launching a new text messaging program to help you relieve your stress.

We will:

  • Check in with you every other week to see how you’re doing
  • Send you weekly tips for lowering stress, customized to your individual stress level
  • Enter you to win a free Ferdinand’s ice cream grabber whenever you do a check in

To sign up, text “STRESS” to 30644. Text messages will start March 1, but you can join at any point in the semester.

For any questions about this program or our stress management workshops, give us a call at 509-335-WELL.

Developing a comprehensive plan for suicide prevention

Developing a comprehensive plan  for suicide prevention

This week our Campus Mental Health Collaborative will meet with an expert from The JED Foundation to develop a strategic plan for suicide prevention tailored to our university’s needs. Our work with JED, a national nonprofit working to promote emotional health among college students, is part of our ongoing mental health promotion efforts.

At the meeting, members of the Campus Mental Health Collaborative will review JED’s feedback on gaps and successes in student mental health support at WSU, brainstorm new ideas and resources, outline and prioritize goals, and develop a written strategic plan for improving mental health promotion on campus.

In preparation for the meeting, we conducted an initial review of our resources, policies, and programs. The review covered nine critical areas identified in the JED Campus Framework, which combines the content of a comprehensive model for suicide prevention with expert recommendations on factors related to preventing substance abuse in young people.

Our work with JED is part of the organization’s Campus Program, a nationwide initiative providing colleges and universities with tools and support to promote students’ emotional well-being. Through the program, WSU will receive customized support for developing programs and policies that build on existing student mental health, substance abuse, and suicide prevention efforts.

To stay connected with mental and emotional health promotion efforts at WSU, make sure you’ve subscribed to our mailing list.

Providers trained to identify suicide risk

Providers trained to identify suicide risk

Healthcare providers play a critical role in identifying and evaluating suicide risk. The Washington State Department of Health requires certain providers to complete suicide prevention training.

Oftentimes, providers have varying levels of experience with suicide prevention. Training providers in the same suicide prevention best practices ensures all our providers are on the same-page when it comes to suicide prevention.

This month, 35 of our healthcare providers completed the Suicide and Crisis Intervention training offered by the Crisis Clinic, a Seattle-based organization offering emotional support to individuals in crisis or considering suicide.

Our providers work closely with students and are often in a position to detect suicide risk. During training, our providers learned how to asses and treat students and at-risk populations, such a veterans, for suicide. They were also trained how to evaluate an individual’s risk of immediate self-harm. The training our providers took is included on the Washington State Department of Health Model List of suicide prevention trainings.

Last fall, providers from Counseling and Psychological Services, completed the Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk (AMSR) training provided by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.

AMSR is designed specifically for healthcare providers. It unpacks the five most common dilemmas providers face when working with someone who may be at risk for suicide, and presents best practices for addressing them.

Activities like suicide prevention training are part of a broader effort to prevent suicide of WSU students. Our Campus Mental Health Collaborative group is working to ensure the WSU community to up-to-date on best practices for supporting students’ mental health.

If you’d like to receive updates on the Campus Mental Health Collaborative, as well as other information about news and events related to mental and emotional health at WSU, make sure you subscribe to our mailing list.

TOM FORD eyewear sale Feb. 15

TOM FORD eyewear sale Feb. 15

Looking to up your frame game this spring? Good news: TOM FORD eyewear is coming to campus! Join our vision clinic for a special sale event just for WSU students.

TOM FORD eyewear sale event
Wednesday, February 15
CUE Atrium
10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Get a 25 percent discount on glasses and sunglasses, and enter to win a free pair of frames! We’ll have over 200 styles of TOM FORD eyewear available to try on and purchase.

For any questions about the sale event or our vision care services, give us a call at 509-335-0360.

Campus Mental Health Collaborative launched

Aerial view of Pullman campus

On October 27, we launched the Campus Mental Health Collaborative, a new group of WSU staff, students and faculty. The Campus Mental Health Collaborative will work together to implement a comprehensive public health framework to promote mental health and prevent suicide of WSU students.

In our first meeting, campus partners discussed two initial projects, SAMHSA’s Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention Grant program and The JED Foundation campus program. These projects, and future efforts of the collaborative, focus on preventing suicide, destigmatizing mental health disorders and promoting help-seeking behavior in the long term.

At the meeting, collaborators from a wide variety of groups shared their ongoing efforts to support student mental health. Notably, student groups including ASWSU and To Write Love On Her Arms talked about ways they are engaging the campus community to destigmatize mental illness and promote mental health resources on campus, including many events and activities taking place this month.

You can find more details on our initial projects and our collaborators’ ongoing efforts in our meeting notes.

If you’d like to receive updates on the Campus Mental Health Collaborative, as well as other events and information on mental and emotional health at WSU, make sure you subscribe to our mailing list.

Show your support for mental health

Show support for mental health

At WSU, we want to create a campus culture that is supportive and educated about mental and emotional health.

Mental health conditions affect all of society, including many of us here at WSU. In our 2016 NCHA survey data, 34.8 percent of Cougs reported feeling so depressed that it was difficult to function in the last year.

This month, groups across campus are hosting events to raise awareness about mental and emotional health. Learn more and show your support by attending an event!

Mental health awareness campaign

To kick off the month, we’re partnering with ASWSU and student group To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) to host a mental health awareness campaign Nov. 1-4. Together, we hope to destigmatize mental illness and mental health problems.

For event information and mental health resources, follow ASWSU on Facebook or Twitter.

Campus Connect suicide prevention training

Wednesday, Nov. 2

This training covers facts and statistics about college student suicide, warning signs and how to intervene during a crisis. The training is free and all students are welcome to attend. Check out training times, and sign up on CougSync.

Keynote speaker on mental illness: Hakeem Rahim

Thursday, Nov. 3, 6:30-7:30 pm, Todd 116

Come listen to Hakeem Rahim, a professional speaker on mental health awareness, depression and suicide prevention. Hakeem will talk about his personal journey with mental illness as well as strategies to support, educate, and empower students to end mental health stigma. Make sure to check out #IAMACCEPTANCE on social media.

Movember at University Recreation

Join University Recreation for Movember, a month-long campaign focused on men’s health. UREC is hosting a full schedule of events, and all are welcome to participate!

Ray-Ban sale event Oct. 12

Ray-Ban Sale Event Oct. 12

Join our vision clinic staff for a special sale event just for WSU students!

Ray-Ban Sale Event
Wednesday, October 12
CUE Atrium
10:00 am – 3:00 pm

We’ll have over 200 different styles of Ray-Ban frames and sunglasses for you to try on. If you find something you like, we can order it for you. Take advantage of special student discounts, and enter to win a free pair of Ray-Ban frames or sunglasses!

For questions, give us a call at 509-335-0360.

What is the National College Health Assessment?

What is the National College Health Assessment?

If you’ve read our blog before, you may have noticed we often cite data from the National College Health Assessment (NCHA) survey. We conduct this survey every year in partnership with the American College Health Association.

The NCHA survey helps us identify health concerns and issues that Cougs have. When we know what Cougs might be struggling with, we’re able to provide educational information and programs to help.

In 2016, a total of 3,168 WSU students from all different backgrounds completed the survey.

Physical, mental, and emotional health have a big impact on students’ academic performance. 2016 NCHA survey results showed that some common health concerns affect Cougs’ academic success:

  • Stress: 32.1 percent of students say stress significantly affects their academic performance.
  • Sleep: 24.8 percent of students say sleep difficulties impact their academic performance.
  • Anxiety: 22.5 percent of students say anxiety negatively affects their academic performance.

In response to these concerns, we’ve established educational programs to help students. For example, we offer workshops on a wide variety of health topics like stress management and sleep.

We’ve also been training WSU faculty and staff on Mental Health First Aid. This program is designed to educate individuals on how to care for and respond to a student in a mental health crisis. And new this year is our Campus Connect suicide prevention program, which trains people how to notice and respond to warning signs and risk factors for suicide.

It’s our goal to make sure WSU students are thriving, and the NCHA survey gives us insight on how we can help.