‘U Good’ provides free workshops that raise awareness of mental health and substance misuse

Cassidy Gladieux Reporter

“Are you doing okay?” “How are you? “Hey, are you good?” These are just a few of the questions that helped to inspire U Good, an initiative within the Division of Mental Health and Substance Use. 

Among the lengthy list of mental health resources at Kent State such as individual counseling, group counseling, psychological testing and seminars, U Good strives to stand out from the rest. An initiative in the Division of Mental Health and Substance Use, U Good hosts events aimed to raise awareness of mental health and substance use at Kent State.

“In this environment that we foster in U Good, this is all students just being together and talking about mental health. What makes U Good unique is we do different themes and topics, and this all comes from a student’s perspective,” said Cassie Shokles, a graduate research assistant at the Division of Mental Health and Substance Use. 

“The goal of U Good is very simple. It’s to raise awareness of mental health and substance misuse. Our specific aims are to educate and encourage students to work on their mental wellness while reducing the stigma of talking about it,” Shokles said. 

U Good events, formerly known as “Flash-Ups,” are funded through the Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention Grant. Topics such as ‘Alcohol Misuse Awareness,’ ‘Redeem Your Self-Esteem’ and ‘Tips for Mental Wellness During COVID-19’ are just a few of the events being covered this semester. 

“It kind of depends on what is going on during the semester. So in the fall, we may tailor things to Halloween and we do a ‘Scare Away Stigma’ event. In the spring, we can tailor things to Valentine’s Day and self-love, so a lot of it depends on what mental health awareness days are going on within the month or at school,” said Kayla Marker, one of the event coordinators for U Good. All events hosted by U Good in the spring semester are virtual.

During the ‘Tips for Mental Wellness During COVID-19,’ event, Shokles discussed ways to stay physically, socially and mentally active while following COVID-19 guidelines. The event also provided examples of ways to stay active such as meditation, going on walks and downloading mindful apps like Headspace or Calm. 

Descriptions of events this semester can be found at U Good website. The ‘Nurturing Relationships and Positivity Webinar’ says, “find ways to nurture healthy relationships and foster positive emotions with content from Thrive Through It. Craft homemade paper gifts for Valentine’s Day.”

Maybe you’re looking for ways to handle stress during midterms. U Good has an event called ‘Mind Power for Midterms Virtual Workshop’ where you “discuss ways to manage academic-related stress in order to achieve high achievement expectations.” 

U Good events run until May 3 this semester. 

Cassidy Gladieux covers mental health. Contact her at [email protected].