Take Care: Integrating Mental Health & Wellness Resources in the Academic Library

Date: Monday, June 10, 2019
Time: 1pm - 4pm
Location: Southeastern Library Council
Trainer: Kate Bellody, Jennifer Rutner, Meghan Shea, SUNY New Paltz

Mental health needs on college campuses are growing exponentially - in 2016, the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the JED Foundation reported that “30% of college students reported feeling so down at some point during the previous year that they found it difficult to function.” 

Libraries are uniquely centered to support the whole student by encouraging wellness and connecting them with mental health and community resources. As an equalizing, safe spaces for students, we can develop our services and resources to address their personal and academic challenges.

This workshop will share strategies for creating a supportive environment in an academic library, including:  

  • Incorporating mental health and wellness into existing library services.
  • Developing collaborations and initiatives to promote student wellness.
  • Practical techniques for supporting distressed students.
  • A counselor’s insight into the challenges our students face.
  • Integrating mindfulness for library staff and students.

The primary intended audience for this workshop is library staff who work with college or high school students. Please note that the event is open to all, as some public or school librarians might find parts of the presentation useful.

About the Presenters:
Kate Bellody is a Research and Education Librarian and the Interim Reference Program Coordinator at the Sojourner Truth Library at SUNY New Paltz. She works closely with the Psychological Counseling Center as their Library Liaison. Prior to coming to New Paltz, she coordinated programming and student outreach as a Librarian at
Hudson County Community College (NJ). Kate received her MLIS from Rutgers University in 2015.

Jennifer Rutner is a Senior Assistant Librarian at the Sojourner Truth Library at SUNY New Paltz, where she works as part of the Research and Education Team. A former Assessment and Marketing Librarian, Jen brings a user-centered and humanistic approach to her work in libraries. She also works as a consultant, Kripalu Yoga Instructor, and an advocate for the infertility community.  

Meghan Shea is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW-R) and Senior Counselor at the SUNY New Paltz Psychological Counseling Center.  Meghan provides individual, group and crisis counseling to college students presenting with a variety of issues such as life transitions, trauma, depression, anxiety, and family difficulties. Meghan also speaks Spanish fluently.  Meghan received her Masters in Social Work from New York University Silver School of Social Work. Meghan is a life-long bookworm and her first part-time jobs included working as a library page at her local library (The LaGrange Association Library!) and the New York University Bobst Library. So naturally, this collaboration between Mental Health and Libraries was a perfect fit!