Adams State supports mental health awareness


Adams State University will dedicate the month of April to "Mental Wellness – it's a Whole Body Thing," including talks and interactive programs. "Mental health includes the entire body, not just the mind," said Laurel Carter, Adams State Suicide Prevention Outreach Coordinator.

Through collaboration with many departments on campus, Carter hopes to increase student recognition of mental health as part of the whole body. She and students in the Prevention Awareness Crew (PAC) class have set up tables in all the academic buildings with materials available for students to share their experiences, fears, triumphs, and successes. "As students walk past they will see their situation is not one of isolation and that Adams State is a safe enough campus to talk about our mental health," she said.

Throughout April, these statements and personal stories will be posted in the Student Union Building for others to read and relate to the experiences. The "Connection Table" will include an opportunity for students to "check their mood" and even record their own story on video. "Students passing by can read the messages and realize they are not the only one seeing a counselor, who is homesick, taking medication, or experiencing anxiety," Carter said.

The Counselor Education Chi Sigma Iota Honor Society and the Adams State Counseling Center will staff graduate students at the table for immediate intervention, if necessary, and to provide resources. "There are a number of students who struggle daily with issues," Carter said. "They need to know it is okay to talk about it and they are not alone."

The April schedule includes speakers, trainings, mental health first aid, and the connection table.

Presentations will be held in McDaniel Hall room 101:

  • Body/Mind: "Finding Your Wellness Balance," Dr. Marty Jones, emeritus professor of chemistry, noon, Tuesday, April 9;
  • Mind: "PTSD and Closed Brain Injury," Dr. Brent King, associate professor of psychology, noon Friday, April 19;
  • Spirit: "Mindfulness in Practice," Dr. Susan Varhely, Counselor Education Department chair; noon, Tuesday, April 23;
  • Body: "Beating the Blues, Mood/State Relationship," Dr. Beez Schell, Human Performance and Physical Education Department chair; Spencer Harris, HPPE assistant professor, and Jeff Storm, HPPE instructor, noon, Friday, April 26.

Trainings, please register with Laurel Carter at 719-587-7746 or, include:

  • ASIST: Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training; 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 4, and Friday, April 5; Student Union banquet rooms;
  • safeTALK: Tell Ask Listen Keep Safe 9 a.m. until 12 p.m., 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. Friday, April 12, SUB A131.

Mental Health First Aid:

  • 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 18 and Friday, April 19; McDaniel Hall room 306

Connection Table:

  • Tell Your Story – Check Your Mood; 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. April 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25, Student Union Building Solarium.

Out of Darkness Walk/Fundraiser:

  • 7 p.m. (registration 6 p.m.) Wednesday, May 1, Adams State Rex Stadium

For more information contact Laurel Carter at 719-587-7746 or