May just might be the time of the year where summer is right around the corner, but it’s also Mental Wellness Month!
To ensure students focus on their wellbeing in the midst of midterms and finals, Cal Poly is putting on its annual 31 Days of Wellness. The event was planned since January by Kathryn Villareal, the coordinator of the Department of Environmental Health and Safety, along with student Gabby Rolph, the Co-Coordinator of the Wellness Ambassador Program. For the next 31 days, they hope to raise awareness about health resources on campus for students.
The kickoff to the series of events started Monday, April 29th on Dexter Lawn. Clubs and organizations such as Poly Fit, Men & Masculinity, PULSE, Health Services, FNL, SLO Food Bank, and more set up booths to inform students about how they can reach their needs and the activities they will be putting on.
At one booth, there were “quit kits” for smoking being offered to students. The kits contained pamphlets on methods to quit smoking, a card with the phone number for the California Smokers’ Helpline, along with breath mints and gum. Students could pick one up for themselves or for the friends.
“I hope to connect students to resources for their needs to quit smoking, but especially vaping,” said Nasseem Rouhani, a Health Education Specialist who works with the Tobacco Control Program and was running the booth.
Also in attendance, the Cal Poly PD was on Dexter Lawn and for the first time ever, is teaming up with the Department of Environmental Health and Safety for the 31 Days of Wellness event.
The reason behind the collaboration
Their biggest goal: “We’re trying to educate students to be more consciousness when crossing streets and biking,” said Frankie Herrera, a police officer for SLO PD.
Along with mental wellness, it is also national bike to work month, which promotes health living and a clear mind through increased exercise. However, students biking on campus often present danger to those who are walking.
According to SLO PD, most tickets given out on campus are written due to student bikers who are distracted on their cell phones, not adhering to stop signs or cars, not following the walk zone on Polyview, and those who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Awareness methods and prizes
Several actions will be taken to promote bicycle safety as well as the wellbeing of students who walk on campus.
“Students will be wearing sandwich boards with the tagline ‘why take a chance, stop, take a glance,'” said Kathryn Villarreal, who is leading the Department of Environmental Health and Safety in its collaboration with SLO PD.
Dum dum lollipops will also be handed out to bikers who are seen not following regulations- students should be alert or they will be called out!
Along with these lollipops being handed out, free prizes and gifts will be handed out throughout May.
There will be a raffle at the end of the month where students can win gift cards for a massage, Woodstocks pizza, Doc Burnstein’s, and more. The grand prize of the rifle: a brand new bike and helmet! Tickets to submit for the raffle will be awarded to students by SLO PD and the Department of Environmental Health and Safety who are following safety regulations on campus to promote health and wellness. Students can also visit the office of the Department of Environmental Health and Safety to receive a ticket for the raffle.
“As a reminder, staff and faculty should also look for free lab safety glasses on Thursday at Building 180,” said Villarreal.
According to student Gabby Rolph, the Co-Coordinator of the Wellness Ambassador Program, Cal Poly Students should follow @myCPwealth on Instagram for more updates on events for the 31 Days of Wellness and how to get involved.