An annual Rogers State University student-organized event focused on community health and well-being recently earned regional recognition from a national association for student affairs professionals.
RSU’s Mental Wealth Day, a community event organized entirely by students, received an Honorable Mention in the Innovative Program Award category for the west region of NASPA, Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, an organization that serves as a resource for leadership, scholarship, professional development and advocacy for student affairs. Mental Wealth Day was one of only three programs in the region to be recognized in this category by the association during its annual conference in November.
Mental Wealth Day is designed to promote mental health and wellness in the community. The event was started in 2009 through a partnership between two psychology-focused student organizations: Social Justice League (SLJ) and Psi Chi, an international honors society in psychology.
The event was developed to provide education, screenings and assistance to the community within mental health fields, as well as an opportunity for students to explore options for graduate studies.
Since that time, Mental Wealth Day has become the largest student-organized event on the RSU campus.
In late October, the event brings together students, faculty, staff and community members to promote mental health and wellness both on campus and in the greater Claremore area. In addition to information and screenings, the event also includes professional development seminars that focus on mental health topics, trends in treatment, graduate programs, employment after graduation and more.
“I feel honored to have been a part of this outstanding event since its inception” said Dr. Kevin M. P. Woller, RSU professor of psychology and faculty advisor to both Psi Chi and CCPSA. “Our students are exceptional in every way and the award from the NASPA IV-West is just another indication of their dedication, and the valuable contributions they make to the institution and our community.”
Community participants have included Big Brothers Big Sisters, Grand Lake Mental Health Center, Oklahoma Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services, Laureate Psychiatric Clinic, Office of Juvenile Affairs, Rogers County Department of Human Services, Safenet Domestic Violence Services, Thunderbird Youth Academy and the Tulsa County Drug Court Program. Larger universities with graduate psychology programs have also participated, including the University of Oklahoma, Oral Roberts University, Northeastern State University, and Oklahoma State University.
“I appreciate the outstanding efforts of our students — and the RSU personnel who support them — in organizing Mental Wealth Day each year,” said Dr. Brent Marsh, RSU vice president for student affairs. “This recognition by NASPA IV-West is significant and well-deserved, and I congratulate everyone involved for this achievement.”
Mental Wealth Day is funded through a silent auction and by contributions from the hosting student organizations, the Student Government Association, and RSU Counseling Services. This year’s event also included a silent auction to benefit future programming and events sponsored by CCPSA and Psi Chi, including the annual Special Day of Care, a day of pampering and fun for residents of Safenet, Claremore’s abused women and children’s shelter.