Reflections by Mufaro Dube

AL for Health Raising Awareness on Mental Health

“Wellness Days present a unique opportunity for students to be educated and imparted with practical tips to nurture their holistic health. With all the stresses surrounding the day to day lives, it is vital that students are equipped with knowledge on how to take care of themselves. The pandemic has highlighted the need for individuals to think about not just their physical health but also their mental health. As such, our activities during this year’s Wellness day will be centered around educating the ALA community on ways to take care of their health, including physical activity, nutrition and mental health.

Published: 14 October 2021

On Monday the 4th of October the ALA community had a Wellness day and engaged in interesting non-academic activities to celebrate their well-being. There was yoga, aerobics, medical checkup, color run and yes the AL for Health network discussed how to support each other with mental illness.

AL for Health set up four booths around campus, with two tables outside the LC Foyer and the other two outside the dining hall. AL For Health student volunteers coordinated the activities at each table and ensured that COVID-19 protocols were observed. Students, Staffulty, and every ALA community member were welcome to our tables. People drew, colored, painted, and shared encouraging positive quotes. We recorded the names and emails of everyone who participated. Our gift to them was a purple ribbon (mental health). The lucky few received stress balls.

Students were free to doodle, show their artistic skills and just write their names. Some drew their friends and advisory families to show the people who were playing an important role in their mental well-being. The activities allowed for visualization of the wellness concepts students were learning. The Wellness Day was a much needed break from our busy schedules. A special thanks to the Organizers, individuals and departments who coordinated to make the day refreshing and a success. I am forever grateful for your support.

By Mufaro Dube, ALA Student

 

Read the poem about mental health

Hide and go seek

I remember playing this all the time when i was young

I’d run away as the seekers counted to 10

1-2-3….10

I’d find the smallest  place and wait to be found

A smile on my face

I’d play for hours

Knowing there’s a thrill in each new round

Knowing I would escape from the world

Into my own fantasy

 

 

The thing is,

I played so much I became good at it

Too good actually

In present day,

I find myself hiding in everyday life

Blocking my ears as the world called my name

The world, the seekers

No difference

 

They’re unaware

Unaware that I hide on purpose

To get back into the fantasy i built

To escape my demons

I hide

To escape my anxiety

I hide

To escape my stress

I hide

My worry, my paranoia , sadness, irritability

They seem ignorant to the fact that I need to found

I want to be found

I’m distressed

Thinking about anxiety and paranoia

My thoughts eating me alive

 

It’s terrifying

I feel like I’ve lost control

Nothing seems to make sense

I’m watching myself on autopilot and I wish

I wish the seekers would search as hard as I hid

Maybe then they would find me..

A poem about mental health,

By Maame Yaa Osei-Owusu, Year 1, ALA 21’

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