March toward better self

International Institute addresses physical and mental wellness on a global scale


Josiah Thomas, Campus Life Editor

With the rise of movements such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness and many others like it, there is an increased awareness for promoting physical and mental wellness. Now more than ever, managing mental health is a major global concern and there is evidence of the problems associated with physical and mental health epidemics on a regular basis, such as the American Psychological Association’s report on chronic stress states, “untreated chronic stress can result in serious health conditions including anxiety, insomnia, muscle pain, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system.”
Out of concern for physical and mental wellness on a global scale, the Schoolcraft International Institute is addressing these issues in a series of events throughout the semester.
 Cultural Competency Imperative for Local and Global Engagement
On Wednesday, Feb. 27 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Liberal Arts Room 200, Dr. Suzanne Selig from University of Michigan – Flint will host a presentation titled “Cultural Competency Imperative for Local and Global Engagement.” Here, Dr. Selig will make the case for why we need to be competent in matters of public health, the focal points being the most essential elements of cultural competency skills, how transferable these skills are, and how students can earn these skills. Dr. Selig’s experience in teaching public health and cultural competence, as well as participation in multiple training sessions for medical school students should translate well to this presentation.
Focus Series and Pageturners Panel Discussion: To Be or Not to Be Happy The Geography of Bliss, by Eric Weiner
On Tuesday, March 12, from 11 a.m. to noon in McDowell Room 100, a Panel Discussion hosted by the International Institute and Pageturners titled, “To Be or Not to Be The Geography of Bliss,” by Eric Weiner will take place. This discussion will focus on not what happiness is, but WHERE it is. In a unique mix of travel, psychology, science and humor, Eric Weiner answers those questions and many others, offering travelers of all moods some interesting new ideas for sunnier destinations and dispositions.
Chips Provided
On Thursday, March 14, from 1 to 2 p.m. in Forum 530, there will be an interactive presentation titled, “Chips Provided” by Schoolcraft professor of English and History, Dr. Steven Berg on the impact of the potato in both a historic and scientific context. This presentation will incorporate videos and audience participation. This presentation is anything but dry history…and chips will be provided.
Fighting Sleep Deprivation: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Improving Sleep Quality
On Tuesday, March 19, from 10 to 11 a.m., there will be a lecture by clinical psychologist Dr. Steven Fischer titled, “Fighting Sleep Deprivation: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Improving Sleep Quality which focuses on solutions for sleep deprivation. Dr. Fischer has been a practicing clinical psychologist for over 36 years. He uses a holistic approach to treating problems in adults that integrates psychotherapy, nutrition, mindfulness meditation and spirituality.
As First Responders, It is Imperative to Understand and Reduce the Stigma of Mental Health Concerns
On Thursday, April 4 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Radcliff Center, the topic will be the importance of First Responders to understand and also reduce the stigma of mental health concerns. Dr. E. Anthony White, a retired police officer of 28 years’ service and mental health certification teacher at Illinois Central College, will focus on the relevance and need for mental health classes to be taught in occupations which deal with crises on a regular basis. This will be affirmed so that First Responders such as Emergency Medical Technicians will be able to, at a minimum, be able to alleviate an already volatile situation rather than worsen it.
Current Mental Health Issues in Indonesia
The final event, takes place Tuesday April 23 from 11 a.m. to noon where mental health issues take center stage. Dr. Theresia Indira Shanti, a clinical psychologist and instructor from the Atma Jaya Catholic University in Indonesia, will cover the current mental health issues there, with a special focus on the college population. Her current work is a research project on mental health services for college students in the Metro Detroit Area.
According to Professor Helen Ditouras the main focus behind these events is to promote the most salient and current issues in the community. “I want people to be energized by the topic the Institute has selected this year because we all have a stake in physical and mental health – both locally and globally,” said Ditouras. “I encourage people to attend and learn more about ways in which we can all manage our health for preventative reasons.”
For more information on the Focus Series, contact [email protected].
The Focus Series presentations are spon­sored by the Schoolcraft College Interna­tional Institute and supported by a grant from the Schoolcraft College Foundation.