Wellness department to continue offering services over spring break

Photo illustration by Grace Everett | Photographer

By Sarah Wang | Staff Writer

Throughout spring break, all administrative offices will continue offering services to students, faculty and staff, according to Christiana Owusu-Ankomah, assistant director for well-being initiatives in the wellness department.

These offices provide multiple services, including the Career Center, Counseling Center, the Title IX Office and Academic Advising.

Owusu-Ankomah said mental health changes throughout the break depending on the individual and their circumstances.

“I would posit that most people experience positive improvements in their mental health when there is a break from school or work,” Owusu-Ankomah said. “This can particularly be the case if the person is intentional about practicing positive self-care — such as engaging in mindfulness or connecting with others — throughout the break.”

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, when people experience long-term stress, their brains are exposed to increased levels of a hormone called cortisol. This exposure weakens their immune systems, making it easier for them to get sick.

Although mental health problems are handled on a case-by-case basis, Owusu-Ankomah said those who are able to rest or engage in healthy activities they enjoy will likely experience less stress.

Owusu-Ankomah also said people getting sick after they finish a stressful period depends on multiple factors, such as the individual, their immune system and their exposure to others who may be sick.

Yangzhou, China, sophomore Jiaqi Sun said she has not yet decided how she will spend her spring break. She said she has given thought to devoting it to something fun that can allow her to rest from the heavy workload of the semester.

“I felt a lot of stress during these weeks because of my exams and papers,” Sun said. “I hope I can give myself enough rest in this spring break so that I can be able to deal with the second half of the semester.”

Sun also said the administrative offices remaining open during spring break is good news for international students like her who cannot go back home.

“It’s definitely good news to see that services will be open for students during the break,” Sun said. “It gives a sense of safety to students who want to stay on campus during the break and a resource to cope with their physical and
mental needs.”