OGDEN — Weber State students will get a chance to pause and take a breath Tuesday at the school’s Mental Health Day event.

The event will run from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Oct. 22, in the Shepherd Union atrium on the Ogden campus.

Students who drop by can take a brief break from their demanding schedules, interact with therapy dogs (and maybe a therapy cat) as well color mandalas — circular, geometric patterns that are spiritual symbols in Hinduism and Buddhism. The patterns have become popular in the last few years with the rise of coloring as an adult pastime.

Visitors can also fold origami cranes, an activity that has swept the campus since the beginning of October, which Weber State marks as mental health awareness month.

Tami Robinette, outreach coordinator with Weber State’s Counseling and Psychological Services Center, said she originally envisioned recruiting some help from other offices to make about 200 origami cranes for mental awareness month, after seeing another university create a “curtain” of cranes, which are a symbol of hope and long life.

People saw others on campus making cranes and started joining in and asking for their own materials.

Robinette has distributed 5,000 pieces of origami paper, and cranes have started popping up all over campus.

Wings of Hope

Students and community members at Weber State University fold thousands of origami birds for the "Wings of Hope" project on October 14, 2019. The project is part of October's Mental Health Awareness Month.

The campus-wide art project is called Wings of Hope.

If groups run out of paper or more people become interested, Robinette said she’ll keep providing supplies.

“I will buy more — absolutely,” Robinette said. “ ... This just kind of went ‘boom,’ and I’m running to keep up with it, but then once it started going, I thought, ‘Well, I’m going to ... help it and let everyone know ‘Come and fold.’”

Any other groups who want to participate can contact or drop by Weber State’s Counseling and Psychological Services Center to pick up origami paper.

In addition to these stress relieving activities, Mental Health Day will have tables featuring various offices on campus that help support student mental health — like Student Wellness, Campus Recreation and the Women’s Center.

“The first thing is to give education to students that their mental health is important,” Robinette said. “Sometimes we forget that, and we kind of know, but we still put our nose to the grindstone, and we skip sleep and we forget to eat ... That’s really the message is to care for your mental health even though you’re in college and college is very rigorous.”

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