Clark State to hold mental health, wellness fair for community

The fair is an initiative of the Phi Theta Kappa chapter’s ‘Love Letters to Ourselves.’

Clark State College will hold its first Mental Health and Wellness Fair next week for the community, an initiative of the college’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) chapter.

The fair is the first with a focus on mental health and wellness that’s an initiative of the PTK chapter’s 2023 College Project, titled “Love Letters to Ourselves.”

“The goal of the event is to create a beneficial and educational experience for the community to not only come together, but to increase feelings of wellness and self-care,” said Annalise Smith, vice president of service for the Clark State PTK chapter and western district representative for Ohio Regional PTK. “Additionally, (we) wanted to step outside of the box encouraging agencies participating to create an interactive and hands-on experience for participants.”

PTK students take the lead on creating, planning and implementing an annual college project, in which they have been meeting regularly with advisor Nina Wiley, assistant vice president of student affairs.

“We are focused on improving the overall health of our community. With the help of several organizations and businesses, we are able to broaden access to health care and wellness by providing educational materials, lifestyle information and screenings, and hands-on learning demonstrations and activities on campus, at a single event,” Wiley said.

The student-developed goals for the fair include raising awareness and educating the community on healthy and positive mental health practices, reduce stigma regarding mental health, normalize self-care and humanize the experience, Wiley said.

Smith, who was inducted into PTK last fall, and graduated this past spring with an associate’s degree of science, said the vision is for each agency to host a station where they educate and engage with the community. She said they also have a few other booths and small events planed, including an interactive presentation related to the project.

Activities and demonstrations at the event will include fitness challenges, yoga demonstrations, Henna tattoos, love letters to ourselves, financial literacy, therapy dogs, self-empowerment and mindfulness activities.

More than 20 businesses and organizations will provide educational materials, lifestyle information and screenings, and hands-on learning demonstration and activities related to health and wellness.

The event, a collaborative effort with PTK, Counseling Services, TRIO and Project Jericho at Clark State, is free and open to the public.

The fair will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 3, in the Clark State Eagle’s Nest, Karen Rafinski Student Center on the main campus at 570 E. Leffel Lane.

“This event will be completely open to the public as we hope to see some intense community engagement,” Smith said.

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