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Rec Program Invites Students to Tackle Mental Health

Jason Scott

As Idaho State University welcomes students back on campus, the Campus Recreation Center is debuting a new program targeted at students interested in addressing both mental and physical health. 

Dubbed ‘Rec Your Stress,’ the program starts with a single session that helps students create an action plan focused both on campus recreation services as well as counseling services the school offers. 

“Students like to be able to quickly address their problems, get an action plan and get out and get to work on it,” said Rick Pongratz, the director of the ISU Counseling and Testing Center in a news release on the program. 

The program is located within the campus recreation building, which helps ease some of the stigma students may feel in being around the Counseling Center. Likewise, the location allows for students seeking mental health help to be introduced to rec programming right away. 

From AB: Integrating Health and Wellness into Rec Programming

“We can use these offices for students in counseling that have never been to Campus Rec or who are nervous about exercising in front of other people,” Pongratz said. “We can slowly help transition them so they feel more comfortable here, or we can have a regular appointment here, give them a tour and some ‘talk-while-we-walk’ therapy.”

Pongratz coordinated with Doug Milder, the director of Campus Recreation, on the program.

“I knew there was a connection between mental and physical health and told Rick we could do something up here to meet the needs of the students,” Milder said. “We are happy to offer the space to do this and to work with the ISU Counseling and Testing Center on this initiative.”

The Rec Your Stress program is another instance of the growing trend of colleges taking the mental health concerns of their students seriously.

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