Calvin College Chimes

CCW student advisory board aims to connect to campus

Screenshot+courtesy+of+CCW+Instagram+page.
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CCW student advisory board aims to connect to campus

Screenshot courtesy of CCW Instagram page.

Screenshot courtesy of CCW Instagram page.

Annette Espinoza

Screenshot courtesy of CCW Instagram page.

Annette Espinoza

Annette Espinoza

Screenshot courtesy of CCW Instagram page.

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The Center for Counseling and Wellness (CCW) seeks to connect with campus through its student advisory board. The board, which began last fall, is made up of 12 students of various ages, grade levels and backgrounds. The CCW created the student advisory group out of a desire to give students a voice and input in order to better address students’ mental health needs.

Within the board there are three subgroups that each focus on one area. One group focuses on video production addressing the stigma surrounding mental health, another is looking into the creation of peer support groups as well as organizing an “Out-of-the-Darkness” suicide prevention walk, and another focuses on social media.

Dr. Irene Kraegel, director of the CCW, expressed that “we see the social media piece in particular as outreach.” She stressed the center’s desire to connect with students so that they are addressing student needs while also giving students a platform to feel heard.

The social media-focused group showcases three days of themed posts which include: “Motivational Mondays,” “Testimony Tuesdays” and “Wellness Wednesdays” on both Facebook and Instagram. Members of the CCW advisory board share their stories with mental wellness on the Instagram page in hopes of breaking down the stigma that surrounds mental health. “Testimony Tuesday” is not exclusive to members of of the advisory board; other students are welcome and encouraged to share their stories. Students interested in sharing their story can direct message the group on Instagram @ThriveAtCalvin or contact Dr. Kraegel.

Jocelyn Coria, junior and social media advisory board member, shared that as a psychology major and social work minor, she was drawn to the board because she wanted to introduce a “Latina/minority perspective to a field [Calvin’s psychology department] that is predominately white.” Coria shared that because of her passion for photography, she wanted to use her skills in the social media group. She also expressed that “there shouldn’t be shame in going to counseling.” Through the social media page, she said, “students can recognize that they aren’t alone in their struggles.”

Dr. Kraegel added that in creating this advisory board and its various projects, their goal is to foster an “emotionally resilient campus.” Students interested in connecting can keep up with the CCW via Instagram: @thriveatcalvin or Facebook: Center for Counseling and Wellness.

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