The Carolina Association of Pharmacy Students ended its week-long self-care initiative on Thursday with spikeball, card games and puppies on the lawn in front of Kerr Hall.
The group hosted a variety of events from Monday to Thursday as part of its Self-Care Week, helping students focus on their well-being around the time of World Mental Health Day on Oct. 10. The initiative was part of Operation Self-Care, one of the association's projects to support student pharmacists.
Hallie Rouse, co-chair of Operation Self-Care and a student pursuing a Doctor of Pharmacy degree at Eshelman School of Pharmacy, said a lot of individuals going into medical careers are experiencing provider burnout, which affects healthcare quality.
“You can’t help your patients unless you're helping yourself first,” said Rouse.
The Carolina Association of Pharmacy Students began its initiative on Monday by putting handouts and stuffed animals in the newly established wellness room on the school's third floor, encouraging students to stop by and experience the quiet, peaceful environment.
The association partnered with the Eshelman School of Pharmacy Student Senate to sponsor the week and reintroduce the wellness room. The room is an open space for students to use books, blankets, fidget toys and bean bags to relax throughout the day.
The festivities continued through the week with an outdoor walk, a social media campaign and free snacks.
Pharmacy student Emily Grooms said it can be really hard to seek out help, especially as graduate students in a rigorous program.
Pharmacy students experience various academic stressors, including the competitive nature of UNC medical programs and practicing patient care.