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Cougar Health Services feature

Faculty and staff guide for helping students in distress

Aerial view of Pullman campus
Picture of WSU Pullman campus on a sunny day

Faculty and staff are often able to recognize when a student is struggling, but it can be hard to know what to say or do.

To ensure students get the support they need, Student Affairs created a comprehensive guide that faculty and staff can reference when they’re concerned about a student.

The guide covers how to recognize common signs of distress, helpful ways to respond to a student, campus and community support resources, and reporting options.

Each WSU location has a guide with specific campus and community resources. View the guide for your WSU location below:

Become a peer health educator

Photo of Cougar Health Services Peer Health Educators

This fall, our health promotion team is continuing a peer health education program. Peer health educators are a diverse group of undergraduate leaders who work with us to educate and empower their fellow students. Students who participate in this program facilitate workshops, represent CHS at campus events, table, and collaborate with campus partners.

We consistently hear from students who are interested in peer health education programs, and studies show that students view peer health educators as credible and trustworthy sources of information. The program is supported by the Service & Activity Fee and will help increase our collaboration with students.

Students who participate in the program will receive a range of professional development opportunities, including training and hands-on experience. Peer educators will develop leadership and public speaking skills, foster positive working relationships, and gain foundational knowledge in a variety of health topics, including violence prevention, mental health, substance use, and sexual health.

The application for becoming a peer health educator will open March 18 and close on April 19.

Students who are accepted into the program will receive BACCHUS training on Sunday, September 8th and Sunday, September 15th from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Students will then take an exam for their peer educator certification. The program has a one year commitment with 25 hours of involvement per semester and bi-weekly meetings which occur on Wednesdays from 4:00 – 5:30pm.

If you have questions about the program, please contact Peyton Prothero.

The risks of sleeping in your contacts

contact lens on finger

The risks of sleeping in your contacts

Imagine it’s late, you’re really tired and you just want to sleep. You might be tempted to skip removing your contacts and head straight to bed.

But before you climb under the covers, it’s really important that you take your contacts out. Sleeping in contacts can compromise the health of your eyes. More specifically, here’s what can happen:

Your eyes can be deprived of oxygen. Your cornea, the part of your eye you place a contact on top of, needs oxygen from the air. Wearing contacts blocks oxygen from getting to your cornea. This only gets worse when your eyes are closed during sleep.

New blood vessels may start to form on corneas that aren’t getting enough oxygen. This condition, called corneal neovascularization, can cause a permanent reduction in vision, blurry vison or eye infections. The resulting damage can prevent you from wearing contact lenses or being a candidate for LASIK surgery in the future.

You could get a bacterial infection. Sleeping in contacts increases your risk of getting an infection called bacterial keratitis. This condition can cause permanent damage to the cornea. Some people who get bacterial keratitis may require a corneal transplant.

You might get dry eyes. Sleeping in contact lenses can cause dry eyes and increase your risk of having an allergic reaction to your contact lenses. This reaction, called giant papillary conjunctivitis, involves large bumps forming underneath your eyelids, making contact lens wear uncomfortable.

Some contact lenses are approved by the Food and Drug Administration to sleep in. However, when you read the fine print, you’ll find even these lenses can cause complications. Sleeping in these contacts can increase your risk of eye infection by 10 to 15 times compared to not sleeping in contact lenses.

The good news is all of these conditions are preventable by simply taking out your contact lenses before bedtime. Try getting in the routine of taking out and caring for your contacts every night.

If you have any questions, call or stop by our vision clinic.