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School of Health Sciences Host Panel for Kick-Off

Aug. 29 marked the beginning of a year full of events for the School of Health Sciences.  

The School of Health Sciences started the 2023 school year with their Health and Wellness Kick-Off. 

The Kick-Off included a panel discussion with Wesley Bruce, Assistant Director of the Counseling Center, Rebecca Glover, Assistant Director at the Counseling Center, Moses Ikiugu, occupation therapist and professor and Kelly Bass, associate professor and chair of social work at the University of South Dakota. 

The panel discussion covered many topics including the upcoming SHS Pet Therapy events in November, how to help a friend, the importance of a connection to nature and general advice for college students.  

Bruce’s dialogue in the panel covered a variety of topics. His opening piece of general advice for college students was to build habits that support their mental health.  

“Do little things daily to help your mental health. The mind and body are connected. Support your body, knowing it supports your mind and support your mind, knowing it supports your body. Take walks, develop hobbies, find a friend group,” Bruce said.  

His closing piece of advice steered away from external things students can do, to something internal. 

 “Take care of yourself the way you deserve and learn radical compassion for yourself,” Bruce said.  

Ikiugu’s main pieces of advice were to live a well-balanced lifestyle, so both the mind and body are supported, to have a personal mission statement and goal to keep yourself motivated and driven.  

His final piece of advice was,: “this is it, enjoy this life.”  

“Find something to feel excited about each day,” Glover said in her initial advice.  

When the panel was questioned about how to help a friend, she said, “ask if they want advice, or just someone to listen. They often just need someone to listen.”  

When asked about a connection with nature, she suggested that when walking on campus, pick out details and notice things. Her final piece of advice was to do a daily check-in on one’s self. 

Bass’s first recommendation was to “find support systems to better cope with adverse situations. Know when to reach out.”  

He added that students often have “pressure to have experiences and a lot of decision-making dilemmas. Feel free to not be involved sometimes. Do what feels right for you.”  

His closing advice was to walk mindfully across campus and to take different routes occasionally to better familiarize yourself and become more comfortable on campus. 

The Health and Wellness Kick-off ended with a raffle where a few people in the crowd won goodie bags. The reminder of the many School of Health Sciences’ events will be held on the first, second and third Tuesday of Sept., Oct. and Nov.