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From Oct. 26-28, the University of Kentucky Martin Luther King Center is partnering with the Counseling Center, a unit it the Office for Student Success, the Neighborhood Healers Project and the Center on Drug and Alcohol Research to host a Week of M.O.R.E, which stands for Mental Health, Outreach, Resources and Education. 

“The goal and purpose of this week is to amplify opportunities for members of the UK community to discuss mental health broadly, share proactive self-care strategies and promote awareness around substance abuse among college students as it aligns with mental health,” said Ja’Mahl McDaniel, director of Martin Luther King Center.

The Week of M.O.R.E will include five events over three days. Wednesday, Oct. 26, will kick off the week of events with narrative therapy and yoga. Thursday’s events include “The Great Escape,” where participants will create affirmation jars and learn other self-care strategies, and a panel on the intersection of mental health and substance abuse. The week will wrap up on Friday with “Helping the Helper,” which will discuss understanding when to ask for help when struggling with mental health. 

Details on the events are as followed:

  • Let's Talk: Narrative Therapy, sponsored by the UK Counseling Center (UKCC) 
    • Noon Wednesday, Oct.26, in MLK Center, in the Gatton Student Center. Narrative therapy is a form of therapy that aims to separate the individual from the problem (substance abuse, family history of substance of abuse, mental health, etc.) allowing the individual to externalize their issues rather than internalize them using artistic expression.
  • Trap Yoga with Larry Jackson from Synergy Coach
    • 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26 in studio A of Alumni Gym.Yoga is increasingly being used in substance abuse treatment programs and throughout recovery to help prevent relapse, reduce withdrawal symptoms, and drug cravings and provide a healthy outlet to cope with potential triggered and daily life stressors.  
  • The Great Escape, sponsored by the Disability Resource Center (DRC)
    • 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, in the MLK Center. This event will be an interactive workshop where participants will be able to create affirmation jars and discuss self-care strategies to incorporate daily. 
  • Outside the Margins: The Intersection of Mental Health and Substance Panel Discussion 
    • 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, in the MLK Center. This will be a panel discussion about substance use disorder and the effects it can have on college students' mental health. The panelist will discuss experiences, expertise and research on the topic. 
    • Helping the Helper, moderated by Candice Hargons, Ph.D. 
      • 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, in the MLK Center. Through awareness and continuing education, the goal of this panel is to dispel the stigma of asking for help. A PSA video titled “know the signs" shows how sometimes the person who tries to fix everything needs fixing too. This event is centered around understanding when to ask for help.

This week of events is supported by the UK Department of Physician Assistant Studies and is funded through a $5,000 award from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) received by Jasmine Collins, second-year graduate student in physician assistant studies. 

This award was granted to support the campus’s efforts to prevent drug misuse. Collins chose to collaborate with the Martin Luther King Center to help broaden the impact of the initiative.

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