Title IX Coordinator Kim Schrader is hoping to provide students with a new resource for taking care of their mental health in the form of a self-care booklet, made up of material produced by Knox students.
“Whether they’re going through something that’s been difficult or challenging or harmful … it’s something that would be useful to many people at different times,” Schrader said.
Schrader acknowledged that the project has had antecedents, specifically citing as inspiration an existing self-care booklet that she has used with students being trained to be peer educators and run consent workshops. What was described as unique about this project was the way it would draw from the Knox community.
“I think that we’re looking at the self-care book as a book for students by students. So having the opportunity to participate in something like that is really special,” junior Emma Newman, one of the the students helping Schrader with the project, said.
Newman stated that she was drawn into the project because of both her interest in art and in trying to make a difference on campus and has enjoyed the process of beginning to sketch for it.
“It’s been really fun and also I guess meditative to just kind of go through and draw positive images like flowers and things like that for myself,” Newman said.
Newman hoped that the collaboration between students would give the completed booklet great variety, balanced between different kinds of content like writing and drawing. Schrader said the type of material to be featured was completely open-ended, ranging from poetry and art to ideas for self-care activities and space to doodle.
“Self-care is different for everybody and kind of an individual thing … I think that’s part of the exciting nature of the project, to see what various people do for their own self care and what they might recommend for other people,” Schrader said.
The hope for the booklet is that it will become a regularly published compilation in the mold of Catch and Quiver. Schrader stated her intention for the booklet to be produced at least annually, with the possibility of more than one publication per year depending on the response to the booklet.
“The importance of all of us being invested in self-care is critical to our ongoing success as human beings … so it’s exciting to have a project that allows space for students to contribute to an effort that’s good for everyone,” she said.
Schrader acknowledged that a submission drive held to gather material for the booklet did not draw as much material from students as had been hoped. She stated that they were now working to get content through other channels, such as by reaching out to other organizations on campus for submissions.
Public submissions will remain open online, and a submission workshop event is being organized to be held on the May 19 in Ferris Lounge. Students will be invited to come in and work together on pages for the booklet.
“It’s a fun and easy activity, it really doesn’t take much time. It’s good personal reflection thinking about things you like to do, with your own self-care habits,” Newman said, encouraging students to contribute.
The completed booklet is expected to be released in time for finals, with a release party set for May 23. Newman hopes that other students will find it to be a new empowering resource.
“When people go through hard times, it hard to remember what feels best for them, how to take care of yourself. And having something easy like a little booklet to look at … it makes it easier to get through,” Newman said.