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Mental health collection added to Mundt Library

February 23, 2022

Image of Karl Mundt Library
Karl Mundt Library is adding a mental health library collection for students and staff. 

The DSU Counseling Center and Karl Mundt Library have partnered to provide a mental health library for students and staff.

Mundt Library Director Jan Brue Enright had been reading about the COVID pandemic was impacting the mental health of college-aged students.

In discussing mental health challenges with one of the library staff members, Michaela Clark and Enright were interested in developing a mental health library.

“We talked about the mental health challenges, especially in light of COVID, and decided we’d try to scrape together some funds and create a mental health library for students,” Enright said.

They began by meeting with Nicole Bowen, Director of the Counseling Center, and Theresa Plut, Mental Health Counselor. Bowen and Plut understand that when people are struggling, they aren’t always ready or needing to speak with a counselor.

“Many individuals tell us they are anxious about seeing someone, they don’t think their problems are as bad, they can figure it out on their own, they are fine, etc.,” Bowen said. “This collection provides various options for self-help before making the leap to seek counseling.”

Bowen suggested that the project might be something that federal COVID relief funds could be used for. They applied for $2,000 of the COVID funds and were granted that amount. With that, they created a collection that includes a variety of books, DVDs, and other materials on a variety of mental health topics for use by the DSU community.  

Clark was in the last semester of her Master of Library Science degree and utilized this mental health collection as part of a project for her class, developing an expansive list of resources that meet the needs of DSU students and staff, Enright explained.

“She read reviews, consulted with the Counseling Center, and came up with a list of books, DVDs, and other resources that address all kinds of facets of mental health: depression, anxiety, eating disorders, meditation, yoga, sleep health…there’s something for everyone,” Enright added.

In addition to these new resources students can schedule on-campus or virtual appointments with counselors using TrojanConnect, Bowen said. DSU counselors work with students on many topics like academic stressors, grief, relationships, coping skills, loneliness, identifying emotions, unhealthy habits, and more.

“We can all do a better job at taking care of ourselves first,” Bowen said. “Think of what a flight attendant tells you to do in case of an emergency flight...put the mask on yourself before you put the mask on others. Apply that same concept to your own life.”

“This may mean we need to take a mental break, stay home when sick, reevaluate our work/life balance, make changes to our responsibilities, find new ways to cope with our stressors, or many other possibilities.”

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