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Mental Health Awareness Week 2020

Cost and Admission

This event is free to attend.


Tools for Today

Fostering Resiliency Step By Step

In a season of life and an era of history defined by distancing, sanitizing, state mandates and masks, it’s no doubt that we, as a community, are more conscious of our physical health than we ever have been before. Additionally, the killing of George Floyd in May alongside continuous acts of racial injustice across the nation and in the news has ignited long overdue conversations about the realities of racial injustice in our country. Repeated violence and conversations demand great mental and emotional energy from people of color. In these next few weeks, the presidential election will continue to sow seeds of division, and raise stress and tension around our nation.

We have gone to unprecedented lengths to keep the threat of physical illness at bay— for the sake of our neighbors and ourselves. But perhaps in doing so, we have neglected to prioritize our mental and emotional wellbeing. If we viewed mental health as equally important as physical health, we would have attended to it a long time ago. So why do we hold off on caring for our own mental health until the baggage is simply too much to bear?

When life keeps piling up worry upon worry, we tend to fall under the weight of our burdens. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says:

“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” (Matthew 6:34 NLT)

To become resilient, we must take life day by day and step by step. Each day this week, we will receive tools to help us along the path of resiliency. Let’s recognize the permission we have to care for ourselves in the same way that we have been caring for others.

This Mental Health Awareness Week, we invite you to join us as we equip ourselves with the tools to take charge of our mental health and wellness, despite the struggles we face today. Then we can open our toolbox and walk the path of resiliency together, step by step.

Written by Ixchel Gomez (Biological Sciences, ‘21), Logan Lusk (Philosophy, ‘22), and Sarah Morgan (Human Biology, ‘21), on behalf of the Mental Health Awareness Week planning team. Logo and graphics developed by Bailey Giersch (Communication Studies, ‘20).


Questions?

Contact Lisa Igram at:
lisa.igram@biola.edu


Events Available All Week

Chapels

Chapels will be available on-demand on Canvas.

  • Dr. David Wang: “Christ as model and guide for life in a pandemic” (Matthew 26:36-39). Jesus’ experience of fear and anxiety in the Garden of Gethsemane gives us permission for our very human response to the challenges of today. Hear Dr. Wang share on Christ as our guide from his experience as pastor and psychologist specializing in trauma and traumatic stress.
  • Dr. Danielle Walker: “Let Gratitude be Your Guide” (Phil 4:6-7). Shifting our perspective changes the atmosphere and trajectory of our lives and those we come in contact with. Listen to Dr. Danielle walker as she discusses how to live a life of gratitude and in a world that often does not.
  • Dr. Todd Pickett: Fives Prayer Service. Join our Dean of Spiritual Development in weekly rhythms of prayer and slowing that support our spiritual, emotional and mental well-being, as we turn our hearts to dependence on God.

Mental Well-being for Students Online Course 

Available on-demand via invitation sent to @biola.edu email address of all undergraduate students.

One in five teens and young adults live with a mental health condition, and three quarters develop one by age 24, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. This 45-minute course will equip undergraduates with essential skills and information to navigate the stressors and emotional challenges associated with college life. You will practice self-care strategies, recognize when you or other students are in distress, and take action to find additional support.

    Biola Huddles Reflection Guide

    Available this week during your Huddle.

    This week’s Biola Huddles will provide spaces for you to Connect and Play - practicing two of our Tools for Today!

      Talk to Someone

      The following services are available by appointment:

      • Individual Counseling and Group Therapy at the Biola Counseling Center - therapy services are available for students residing in California, using video telepsychology. Call 562-903-4800 for an appointment. Hours of operation: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Monday to Thursday) and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Friday).
      • Spiritual Direction - monthly connection with a trained spiritual director to give prayerful attention to your relationship with God.
      • Pastoral Care - one-time (or shorter term) conversation with a campus pastor to talk about anything that feels pressing to you!

      The Inbetween

      An SGA Podcast with Keren Godwin and Gretchen Ferguson, featuring Lisa Igram and Brennan Jung on this year’s mental health awareness week and your questions about mental health realities during this season.


      Scheduled Events

      Drop-In Consultation

      Brief, problem-solving conversations (not online therapy) where the therapist will listen, provide support, offer resources, and help brainstorm solutions. Available at no cost to all students regardless of where you reside.

      No paperwork or intake process required. Simply find a quiet, confidential space you can be in while talking (a car works if where you live doesn't) then visit the virtual drop-in site on any phone, tablet or laptop with a camera and a microphone. If several people drop-in at the same time, there could be a brief wait, so just hang out in "the waiting room," and the therapist will be with you soon.

      Therapy Essentials 

      Therapy Essentials is a two-hour interactive workshop where you can gain a fresh perspective on struggles you are facing and build your capacity to manage stress and make positive changes. Offered four times a week, Therapy Essentials is also available, at no cost, to all Biola University students, regardless of where they reside. You must be logged in right at the start to take part in the class.

      Monday

      Tuesday

      Wednesday

      Thursday

      Friday

      Monday — Tool for Today: Gratitude

      What is one thing you’re grateful for today?

      We experience gratitude when we realize how much goodness is woven into our strange, hard and sometimes annoying lives. It’s often easier to experience gratitude in our best days, but it’s difficult to find gratitude on our most challenging days. Gratitude calls us away from always wanting more, and instead invites us to recognize the good gifts God has already given us - even and especially in this midst of struggle.

      Try one of these today:

      • Write a thank you note and mail it to someone who has been an encouragement to you.
      • Find a place to sit outdoors and read Matthew 6:26-27. Then, find some birds and watch them fly and play, imagining God’s delight in his creation.
      • Watch (and sing along with) “Do Not Worry” by Rain for Roots. Sometimes the most profound comforts and truths can be found in children’s songs!
      • Write down or draw four things you are grateful for today.
      • Choose to smile for a moment while in a zoom class.
      • Flip through an old magazine to find pictures representing what you’re grateful for. Make a collage and put up at your desk to look at each day.

      Check out these Biola Resources to talk more about practicing Gratitude:

      • Spiritual Direction - monthly connection with a trained spiritual director to give prayerful attention to your relationship with God.
      • Pastoral Care - one-time (or shorter term) conversation with a campus pastor to talk about anything that feels pressing to you!
      • Well-being Huddles - search and join “But what if I don’t like Yoga?” and “Begin” on the Biola App

      Dig Deeper:

      Tuesday — Tool for Today: Release

      What can you release today?

      In our current season, many of us are experiencing a constant level of stress caused by shifts in our environment, changes in our routines, pressure to perform, reminders of the racial injustice happening in our nation or the fear fostered by news and media. It’s important to recognize that this stress might cause us to achieve less – and that’s okay. Practicing release helps us lower high expectations for ourselves, accept our limitations and recognize that we can’t do it all. God didn’t create us to do it all – it’s okay to take a break, pause and recognize that we don’t have to perform.

      We can practice releasing:

      • Anxiety, worry and stress (which we should release).
      • Schedules without breaks or downtime.
      • Unrealistic expectations that we place on ourselves or allow others to place on us.
      • Performance.
      • Perfection and Self-Image.
      • Focus on doing rather than being.
      • Spiritual guilt – “God won’t love or accept me unless I do ...”

      Try one of these today:

      • If your week is exceptionally full, try saying “no” to one thing so that you can simply “be” with a friend or family member rather than accomplish a task.
      • Put your phone away at least 30 minutes before bed, allowing yourself to unwind without being “connected.”
      • Schedule a break in your day where you don’t have to do or accomplish anything.
      • Think about an expectation you might be trying to live up to. Who has this expectation of you? Talk to someone about whether it is a reasonable or appropriate expectation to hold.
      • Practice slowing down by watching a sunset or finding beauty in a plant or a tree.
      • Put down what you’re doing and check in with how you’re feeling.

      Check out these Biola Resources to talk about this concept of “release”:

      • Spiritual Direction - monthly connection with a trained spiritual director to give prayerful attention to your relationship with God.
      • Pastoral Care - one-time (or shorter term) conversation with a campus pastor to talk about anything that feels pressing to you!
      • Biola Counseling Center - Virtual Drop-In Consultation - 15 minutes with a counselor to talk through a struggle you’re facing
      • Biola Counseling Center - Therapy Essentials - two-hour interactive workshop where you can gain a fresh perspective on struggles you are facing and build your capacity to manage stress and make positive changes.

      Dig Deeper:

      Wednesday — Tool for Today: Connect

      Who is one person you’ll connect with today?

      Allowing ourselves to see and be seen is a sacred and vulnerable act-- one that connects us with God and others. Often, our prayers are answered in the form of the relationships and friendships that we have. Sometimes in our relationships we get to give care and sometimes we need to receive care. What would it look like for you to engage in a relational connection today? Practice being the very hands and feet of God to those around you. And, practice receiving from others, too.

      Try one of these today:

      • Write and mail a letter to a friend, and share with them how your classes are going so far. Ask them how they’re doing!
      • Instead of texting someone when you think of them, call them.
      • Get to know some friends in your class by planning a virtual game night.
      • Make a collaborative playlist on Spotify with some friends.
      • If you are able to do so safely, sit with someone you care about outside.
      • Check out We’re Not Really Strangers and play with a friend!

      Check out these Biola Resources to connect:

      • Affinity Groups - many in communities of color are experiencing race-based traumatic stress and need to process their experiences with a caring community. If this is you, join an affinity group to talk with mentors and peers who have similar backgrounds as you.
      • Biola Huddles - check out the Huddles list on the Biola App, or fill out the “Find My Huddle” form to get connected.
      • CMR - equips students, couples and churches with the tools they need to build happy, healthy friendships, relationships and marriages.
      • Spiritual Direction - monthly connection with a trained spiritual director to give prayerful attention to your relationship with God.
      • Pastoral Care - one-time (or shorter term) conversation with a campus pastor to talk about anything that feels pressing to you!
      • Group Therapy at the Biola Counseling Center - Students living in California can explore life and address challenges together with others who share their same concerns in confidential, supportive small groups.

      Dig Deeper:

      Thursday — Tool for Today: Rest

      How will you rest today?

      Rest reorients our whole being back to the finished work of Christ. In Matthew 11:28, Jesus says, “Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” God designed our bodies and souls to be refreshed through rest. Rest releases the “feel-good” hormones: serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin and helps to prevent depression. Rest lowers our blood pressure and prepares us for a good night's sleep, which promotes a healthy immune system. What is making you weary and burdened? Whether it is a spiritual, emotional or physical challenge, Jesus has invited you to come as you are to to receive true rest in mind, body and spirit.

      What are we resting from?

      • Ongoing social media distractions
      • Performance
      • Expectations (our own expectations and those others put on us)
      • Schedules/Daily routine
      • Work/Serving
      • Demands of academics & athletics
      • Condemnation that we are not enough or doing enough
      • Despair/heartache
      • Disappointment/Anger/Frustration
      • Control
      • Anxiety
      • Caring for others

      Try one of these today:

      • Find a quiet place and sit in silence.
      • Pause to take a deep breath.
      • Tell Jesus what you are feeling.
      • Put your phone away and stay off social media for the day.
      • Describe to a friend one thing that distracts you from resting.
      • Take a walk and notice creation.
      • Take a nap.
      • Play a worship song - close your eyes and just listen.
      • Download the Headspace app and practice some mindfulness.

      Check out these Biola Resources to give attention to resting:

      • Spiritual Direction - monthly connection with a trained spiritual director to give prayerful attention to your relationship with God.
      • Pastoral Care - one-time (or shorter term) conversation with a campus pastor to talk about anything that feels pressing to you!
      • Affinity Groups - connect with others who have similar experiences or backgrounds as a way of resting from some of the stressors that come with navigating the tensions of today.
      • Guided Imagery Exercise - by BCC Therapist Rebecca Oliver. Accessible through Voicethread.

      Dig Deeper:

      Friday — Tool for Today: Play

      How will you play today?

      Playfulness, laughter and fun can bond us and build trust with one another, allowing us to lower our walls, creating a sense of safety and acceptance. God created our bodies to release endorphins when we laugh, which decreases stress, builds resilience to disease and can temporarily relieve pain. Due to our remote environment, our need for making play a priority is bigger than ever. Go have fun with someone!

      Try one of these today:

      On your own:

      • Make playdough art.
      • Learn how to cook/bake a new recipe.
      • Carve/paint a pumpkin!
      • Listen to a stand-up comedian.

      With others in person:

      • Do you have any children in your home? Do a silly activity with them!
      • Make the biggest possible blanket fort.
      • Play a board game.
      • Have a “minute to win it” tournament with people in your home. Decide on a prize for the tourney winner.
      • Spend time with people who make you laugh.
      • Do karaoke at home with people you live with.

      With others remotely:

      • Online games like Jackbox via video chat.
      • Play an Improv game together over Zoom.
      • Mad libs activity over the phone.

      Check out these Biola Resources to you ideas of how to have fun with others at Biola:

      • Clubs - There are a wide range of topics and interests represented, our clubs offer diverse opportunities for you to get connected!
      • Interest Based Huddles - These huddles are for any and all students who want to explore shared needs, hobbies or interests in community with other Biola students.
      • Affinity Groups - connect with people who have similar experiences as you for good conversation and lots of fun

      Dig Deeper