Muskingum University helps students make the most of their education by supporting their wellbeing and assisting them in overcoming any personal, emotional, or psychological issues that could negatively impact their experience and ability to reach their goals.
Counseling Services, led by Leah Shirer, offers mental health resources to all members of the University community, including students, faculty, and staff. Individual counseling is available for students through Counseling Services and through the University's partnership with Allwell Behavioral Health Services of Zanesville. The University also has a partnership with Virtual Care Group offering virtual counseling to students, faculty, and staff.
Fun campus-wide Counseling Services events on the Quad provide stress-relief opportunities and raise awareness around mental health. During the Fall 2023 semester, a wide variety of activities were offered.
During September’s National Suicide Prevention Week, the “Spreading Hope for Suicide Prevention” event provided students with sunflowers to signal hope, ribbons for suicide awareness, and cards that list warning signs of suicide, and they were invited to write messages of hope on paper sunflowers that were distributed across campus. QPR suicide prevention gatekeeper training – question, persuade, and refer – for students, faculty, and staff covered the topics of how to recognize suicide warning signs and how to help a person who may be suicidal.
For October’s Mental Health Awareness Day, “Break the Cycle” invited students to write stressors and mental health concerns on plates and smash them, and “Shred the Stigma” encouraged them to write their stressors and concerns on paper and shred them. Mental health resources and green awareness ribbons were distributed.
On Halloween, the “Don’t Ghost Your Mental Health” self-care event provided a build your own treat bag featuring ‘Be Sweet and Treat Yourself’ with oranges and candy, ‘Let Your Light Shine’ with glow sticks, ‘Monster Mash’ playdough, ghost suckers with a QR code for depression screening, and tips to avoid being ‘Caught in the Web’ of negative thinking, and lists of ways to take a break and ‘Carve Time Out for Yourself.’
In November, “Pause for Paws” will feature therapy dog visits from Fetch Remedy Dogs. During December, End of Semester Wellness Boxes will be placed across campus to help students manage stress with stress balls, breathing exercises, mindfulness scripts, fidgets, and Counseling Services information, and the Finals Chill Zone will feature games, food, chair massages, and arts and crafts.
The Muskie Wellbeing App, created by Counseling Services in 2021 and downloadable to iPhone and Android, offers easy access to mental health and life improvement resources, promoting overall mind and body health for all Muskingum community members. The resources assist with access to counseling, crisis care, ways to manage stress, and provide links to on- and off-campus recreational activities.
During the Spring 2024 semester, Mental Health First Aid Training will be available to faculty and staff on how to talk with students about their mental health.
Additionally, the Department of Athletics supports student-athlete wellbeing through regular mental health check-ins by coaches and by providing mental health educational programming as part of team activities.