I am excited to share the second Friday Focus where we spotlight what students at other schools are doing to deal with mental health problems in the veterinary profession and ease the burdens of their classmates.
This post comes from Caitlyn Freeny at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. See what they do at their awesome Facebook page and read more below.
Do you want to get something similar started at your school? Get in contact with Caitlyn or post your comments and questions below.
My name is Caitlyn Freeny and I am RUSVM’s Student Wellness and Experience Committee’s Liaison. RUSVM’s Student Wellness & Experience Committees (RUSVM’s SWC & SEC) began in the spring of 2015 after the creation of the National SAVMA Wellness Task Force at the SAVMA House of Delegates meeting.
The mission of the SWC & SEC is to enhance the student experience at RUSVM through initiatives promoting a culture of positivity by focusing on student professional development, mental health, wellness, and unity. In doing so, host motivational lunch lectures, plan activities through out the semester to raise awareness for mental health, student wellness, and promote a more positive culture on campus according to student needs and requests. We work closely with the Student Success Center, Counseling Center, Director of Student Experience, RUSVM Care Team, the SCAVMA Delegates, and the student body at RUSVM.
Events that have been successful have included a lot of effort from the members of the SWC, as well as trial by error! Living on a tropical island has so many benefits but also comes with a few challenges. In order to make events great, we have to plan a semester in advance to purchase the items needed especially those only available in the United States. This semester, SWC put on a Patriotic Pet Contest that included a day where we handed out otter pops. With such intense heat, it took more than 5 days to freeze the otter pops and we even had to postpone the event!
Recently, we co-hosted an event with ROSS TALK and had 3 alumni faculty and 2 students present TED talk-like presentations on overcoming obstacles here on the island. The turnout was great and the feedback was inspiring. Each semester, we hold “Stress Buster Week” the week prior to finals. We have lawn games, complementary massages, healthy snacks, and stress reducing tips and activities. Last semester we were lucky enough to host Jen Quammen and Ryan Smith from High Performance Living. They were able to give two amazing lunch presentations to our student body regarding stress management, useful tools for success, and much more. They were also able to give another lunch presentation to SCAVMA Elect Board Members and Faculty about the work-life balance.
These are only a few examples of the events that the SWC has held. We are continuously brainstorming ideas on how to maintain a culture of positivity and putting on new and exciting events. If anyone has any questions or would like to reach out to us, please email SCAVMASWCLiaison@rossvet.edu.kn.