EIU canceling two days of classes for ‘Student Mental Health Days’

Local News

CHARLESTON, Ill. (WCIA)– College students are dealing with mental health issues at an increasing rate, according to Eastern Illinois University’s Vice President of Student Affairs, Anne Flaherty.

It’s something she said she’s also seeing where she works.

That’s why EIU is canceling academic classes next Tuesday and Wednesday, and instead, reserving that time for student mental health days.

“…to hopefully give students space in their schedule to make time to take care of themselves,” Flaherty explained.

The school scheduled several wellness activities and educational sessions, like stress management, but classes, labs and studios will halt from Monday evening at 5:00 until Thursday morning.

The VP told us she hasn’t seen anything like this before in her couple of years at EIU. She said it’s that time of year where due dates are coming up in every class and as the days get darker, Flaherty said this is the time to give students an opportunity to put their mental health first.

“I always ask the ‘How are you taking care of yourself?’ question, and it always concerns me when it takes students a bit to answer that question,” she added.

“It’s just not a natural response and so, I want to get to the point where our students think of that first and foremost.”

Flaherty hopes students will take advantage of the events, adding it’s all designed to help them destress and finish the semester strong.

Campus offices will still be open Tuesday and Wednesday and students working campus jobs will still be needed at work, according to EIU’s website.

Activities are set up almost every hour over the two days. The university is offering up events ranging from exercise classes to prayer groups, walks, music, and even therapy dogs.

Click here for the full schedule.

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