OSWEGO, N.Y. – Midterms are approaching fast for SUNY Oswego students, and many are suffering in silence. The stigma around mental health and asking for help has slowly been breaking down over recent years, however, suicide is the second most common cause of death among college students, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Using a creative outlet to cope with stress and anxiety has become a priority for one mental health counselor on campus.
“We don’t need to be talented artists to feel better,” said Kyle Dzintars, a senior staff member of the counseling services. Dzintars facilitates a weekly event on campus: “But I Suck At Drawing: Coping Skills for the “In-Artistic”.
“I think people who may not show up to counseling services because of that stigma, they also need to check in with their mental health. A group like this is a little less formal, it’s not a full therapeutic process, but it helps people give space to think about things, seek out support, and be creative in new ways,” said Dzintars.
The event allows students to think deeper about their own lives in a calming environment full of support and confidentiality. Through expressive art, Kyle encourages participants to reflect on themselves and practice mindfulness.
“But I Suck At Drawing” is just one of several programs offered by the Counseling Services Center located at the Mary Walker Center. Group counseling can be a powerful arena for tremendous growth and change, but students looking for more targeted and individualized help can contact anyone at Mary Walker.