VolAware Street Fair Raises Awareness about Mental Health Issues

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Chair massages, manicures, an inner-child play area, and a place to make your own stress ball. All of these fun activities will be featured on Wednesday, October 3, at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s VolAware Street Fair, an event to raise awareness about mental health issues.

Activities will take place on the Pedestrian Walkway. The fair events are free and open to the public.

The VolAware program strives to prevent violence, suicide, and substance abuse and promote wellness and safety.

QPR suicide prevention training sessions also will be offered in conjunction with the street fair. QPR stands for question, persuade, refer. The hour-long training sessions provide coaching about how to ask someone if they are considering suicide, persuade them to get help and refer them to someone who can help.

QPR training, which is open to anyone, will be held at 11:10 a.m., 1:20 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. at John XXIII Catholic Church and at 12:15 p.m. and 2:25 p.m. in Room 225 of the University Center.

The street fair will also feature booths with various mental health-related organizations, and participants will be able to meet therapy dogs. Prize drawings will be held too.

Connie Briscoe, assistant director of the Student Counseling Center, said depression is a huge problem in the United States.

“College students are especially at risk,” she said, “with half reporting that they have been so stressed that they couldn’t function during the past year.”

The VolAware street fair is “an effort to raise the awareness about mental health and attempt to decrease the stigma that prevents people from getting the help they need,” she said.

Here are some of the other activities happening at VolAware. All take place on the Pedestrian Walkway unless otherwise noted:

  • 11:00 a.m. and 1:45 p.m., Health Jeopardy
  • 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., UT Police Department personal safety demonstration
  • 12:25 p.m., Wellness and Biofeedback training (in UC, Room 226)
  • 12:45 p.m., Inner-child play area, art competition
  • 2:25 p.m., Career Services presents “What I Can Do With a Major in the Helping Professions” (in UC, Room 223-224)
  • 2:30 p.m., Ballroom Dance Team flashmob
  • 3:00 p.m. Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) demonstration by UTPD
  • 3:30 p.m. Dance Society flashmob

For more information, visit volaware.utk.edu.

C O N T A C T :

Connie Briscoe (865-974-2196, briscoe@utk.edu)

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