Coffee Talk promotes student mental, physical health

Becky Bolte, director of the Memorial Union talks with students about wellness in all aspects of life. 

Charles Rankin

Students from all corners of campus came together for a coffee talk on Sept. 13 that helped educate on how to better understand the need to take care of themselves.

The event was structured less as a talk and more as an informational setting for students. Organizations such as the Student Wellness and Recreation Center, Washburn University Police Department, Washburn University Counseling Services and To Write Love on Her Arms tabled in the Union Underground as a way to give students resources on self care, self awareness and wellness.

WUPD brought along “beer goggles,” designed to simulate what can happen to your vision when you are intoxicated, and had students take a few sobriety tests, such as walking a straight line and catching a tennis ball while impaired by the goggles.

“We’re here to help students be aware of how dangerous driving intoxicated really is,” said Quillan Houser, WUPD officer. “Most people are failing our tests. The goggles are only simulating your visual impairment and not the other effects of intoxication.”

After trying on the goggles and doing a few tests of his own, Houser said that another reason that WUPD was present was to bond with the community and get to know those that they protect.

“We want to get to know the faces of the people who are calling us,” Houser said. “Doing that early on in the semester is key.”

Kellie Hundemer, the assistant director for the Student Wellness and Recreation Center, was present to point students in the direction of the SWRC and the services it provides to student who want to take better care of themselves.

“We take a holistic approach to wellness,” Hundemer said. “That includes helping students with things like nutrition and fitness, but also areas of their well being, like emotional and spiritual well being.”

Washburn’s chapter of To Write Love on Her Arms was also in attendance in order to promote the importance of mental health.

“We exist to help erase the stigma of what people associate with mental health,” said Natalie Engler, senior criminal justice major and president of TWLOHA.

The overall theme of the day was to promote self awareness and self care. One way that the event achieved this was by offering therapeutic coloring of mandalas. Shelley Bearman, project coordinator for sexual assault education and prevention, said that this coloring table was designed to help anyone simply relax, rest and relieve some of the stress after the first few weeks of class.