Students in field

You are not Alone: Mental Health Awareness Week with Pastor Sarah Semmler Smith

February 4, 2022

Sarah Semmler SmithOn this episode of Finlandia Fridays, Campus Pastor Sarah Semmler Smith sits down with the team to talk about the upcoming Mental Health Awareness week happening on campus from Feb. 6 – 12. Finlandia Lions Women’s Basketball squad will be kicking off the week of events at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 6 with a “green out” in the gym to raise awareness of mental health and the importance of support.

“My call here as a pastor is really to do the work of chaplain and pastoral counselor and so if a student, or staff or faculty, has need of a listening ear, someone to work with them on mindfulness practices or pray, I’m here as a resource. I’m trained in pastoral counseling and being a non-anxious presence with someone.” Semmler Smith said. “I’ve realized sometimes all people need is someone who holds space for them. Who can be a person who just listens and lets them get things off their chest or process or figure things out in a place that will not judge, but is there to support or walk alongside them.”

Following Sunday’s game, additional events on campus during the week include the Community Meal, led by Finlandia’s V.P. of Student Development and Dean of Students Luke Morrill, an Esports Game Night hosted in the Esports Arena at Hirvonen Hall, and nature hikes with Director of Student Engagement Alex Hilterbrand.

On Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Hirvonen Gym, the event “Conversations on Mental Health” will feature five people from the Finlandia community including faculty, staff and students who will be telling their stories as they relate to mental health.

“My hope is it will really be a moment of awareness and vulnerability where everyone can learn and walk away with something.”

More information about Mental Health Awareness Week can be found through the links below.



Thanks for checking out Finlandia Fridays, a weekly interview series talking about a wide range of Finlandia University topics. You can check out an archive at finlandia.edu/fridays. We also invite you to subscribe to the Finlandia Podcast Network wherever you get podcasts.


Tags: , , , , ,
FinnU will not enroll students for 2023-2024Learn More