When Jess Cameron, a freshman at Castleton State College flipped the switch on the pearly white box that sits perched on a table in the waiting room in the Wellness Center, she was blinded with a brilliant light.
“I thought that it was the UV light,” Jess said. “I had read a sheet from the Wellness Center somewhere so I wanted to see what it was.”
Although Cameron knew what it was, she had not expected the light to be so bright and strong.
While this new addition to the Wellness Center may look like a space heater, it is a full spectrum light which mimics the suns natural light. Though it will not give you that perfectly tan beach bod, it can help lessen the symptoms of depression and seasonal affective disorder.
When asked if the light was useful, “I think for some people it certainly is, it’s a little boost,” Wellness Center staff member Barbara McCall said.
McCall gladly pointed out her own personal light, which resembled a large night light that she uses in her office daily.
The full spectrum light for use by students was inherited it from the Reiki Club, and has been sitting on a shelf in the ROTC office for some time now,” McCall said.
“Some people come in just to use it, but others will use it when they are waiting for other reasons,” she said.
McCall said that she and other staff members constantly remind users to not stare into the light for fear it will hurt their eyes.
While box of sunny rays has been usefully to users on campus who struggle with depression and SAD, Wellness Center staff can only guess why more students are seeking their help for a range or troubles.
“We cannot be sure why there is an increase in students seeking counseling. One reason might be that students and their families have a greater awareness of and education about counseling services,” said Martha Coulter, the Wellness Center Director.
“Depression, anxiety, and stress are the most common issues that students present when they come for counseling in the Wellness Center.”
The Wellness Center staff is glad to see the rise in students seeking help. Whether more students are seeking help then before due to the increased knowledge about the Wellness Center, or because society has an increase in those who may need help or an outlet, the Wellness Center is thrilled that students know there is free help for them on campus.
“We hope that we can help to reduce the stigma that some students have about seeking support. We also hope that students will seek assistance earlier, so that they can continue to be successful in their college experience,” said Coulter.
Although the news of Castleton’s full spectrum light may not be known by all, the word is slowly beginning to sneak about campus and the students here are thrilled and excited about the potential that the box holds.
“None of my friends have used it yet, but hey if it works that’s great!” said Cameron.