Wellness Kits Donated Helps First-Year Students In Pandemic

Contents of the wellness kits donated for first-year students.

FREDONIA — Wellness kits are on their way to State University at Fredonia first-year students to help them address unique needs during an academic year made more challenging by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The kids include an assortment of items that have become part of everyday life, such as a face mask, water bottle, hand sanitizer spray and lip balm, along with stickers, a postcard and a pin that contain referral information about suicide warning signs, crisis hotline and lists of mental health resources available on Instagram and through myStrength.

“Mental health concerns are prevalent for our on-campus students and even more so now during a time where there is limited in-person socialization due to the pandemic,” said Director of Residence Life Kathy Forster. The wellness kits are being distributed to first-year resident students by the Office of Residence Life.

The wellness kit comes in a reusable shopping bag printed with information about the SUNY Fredonia Counseling Center.

“Items included are intended to promote wellness and provide students with resources needed to be vigilant of their own and others mental health and well-being during this unprecedented time,” said Ann Rosenthal, public relations coordinator of the Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene, the agency donating 750 kits to the campus.

The kits are funded by a federal grant awarded to the county Department of Mental Hygiene to address specific age groups, including students, ages 18 to 21. It is an expansion of the county’s federally-supported Chautauqua Tapestry system of care grant. Tapestry Resilience is focused on college-aged youth.

“The Fredonia Counseling Center is very pleased to collaborate with community health partners in providing information about campus and community mental health resources that are available to our student body population during these stressful and unpredictable times,” said Julie Bezek, SUNY Fredonia Counseling Center’s prevention, advocacy and wellness coordinator. “It’s so important that students know what resources exist for them.”


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