Members of the campus community had the opportunity to learn more about opportunities within the campus and around Oswego County to learn or receive support during the recent Mental Health and Wellness Fair.

The on-campus fair on Aug. 31 featured tables staffed by representatives of SUNY Oswego and community services, vendors, student organizations and more promoting health, wellness and engagement via activities, giveaways, games, materials and simple conversations.

Represented organizations included the event’s sponsor, the campus Counseling Services Center, as well as the Office of Dean of Students, It’s On Oz, SEFA (State Employees Federated Appeal), Campus Recreation, SHOP (Students Helping Oz Peers), University Police, Employee Assistance Program, Auxiliary Services, organizers of the upcoming ALANA (African, Latino, Asian and Native American) Conference and more.

From the community, representatives included Services to Aid Families, Oswego County Opportunities Health Education, the Food Bank of Central New York, Oswego County Suicide Prevention Coalition and more.

Interactive features included the University Police Seatbelt Challenge, which challenged students to be the fastest to put on a seatbelt with awards for the winners, and Auxiliary Services offering quick nutrition quizzes for prizes. A therapy dog from Paws of CNY was perhaps the most popular attraction.

The Dean of Students table featured information on the Oz Concern Navigator, which can be used for a variety of student concerns, and noted sessions this week where off-campus students can voice their concerns and needs.

Student employee Panagiotis Vakirtzis at the Campus Recreation table provided information on their upcoming events, ways to get involved on campus and how students could sign up for intramural sports and recreational activities. Students can check out equipment and sign up for group exercise classes such as Zumba, kickboxing, pilates, pound (with drumsticks) and more through Campus Recreation, as well as take part in open swimming, badminton, teqball, volleyball and other sports and activities.

The Counseling Services Center spoke about their peer educators, bringing therapy dogs to campus and hosting events where students can go to relieve their stress and find comfort. 

Off-campus partner Services to Aid Families epresentatives discussed how their organization works with the college’s Title IX office on sexual violence and domestic violence crisis intervention, 24/7 through an advocate and completely free and confidential. 

At the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Oswego County table, Kelsey Mattoon, the coalition manager/youth coalition leader raised awareness on mental health issues and substance abuse. She offered visitors the chance to try on goggles to show the effects of substance abuse and how that can cloud decision-making. 

For more information on resources, visit the Counseling Services or Student Health and Wellness websites.

–- Written by Sarah Tavella of the Class of 2023