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Best Day of Your Life’ fosters mental health awareness

Shelby Lum / Lantern Photographer

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For some Ohio State students, Wednesday was the best day of their lives, complete with a giant inflatable yellow duck.

The Best Day of Your Life, a day full of activities and programs designed to remind students about what makes them happy, was sponsored by Ohio Staters, Inc.

Staters said the intention behind the event is to improve the state of mental health among college students by providing a day full of giveaways. The organization also informed students about the mental health resources that are available on campus.

“Thirty percent of all college students have mental health issues, namely depression. Two-thirds of those students don’t speak up about their needs,” said Anooj Bhandari, co-chair of Best Day of Your Life and a second-year in public affairs.

The yellow duck has been a staple for the event since it first began five years ago, and organizers said it is a symbol of happiness for many.

Staters began planning the event during Fall Quarter, developing new marketing strategies and changes to last year’s events.

“In previous years, it was not marketed at all until the day of, and this is something that we changed this year. We created a website and a Twitter account so that people could have a schedule of events in advance, to plan their day better,” Bhandari said.

The day included inflatables, yoga sessions, therapy dogs, massages in the RPAC, a movie on the Oval and more. Booths with mental health resources were also set up around campus.

“I had no idea what the event is for, I just know about it because a friend tweeted something about it and there’s free food,” said Megan Michaelis, a first-year in biology.

Various organizations including Ohio Union Activities Board, Yoga Club and Hounds for Humanity contributed to the event.

Panera provided bagels and coffee in the morning and Chipotle provided lunch at Younkin Success Center.

“Students aren’t aware that they get 10 free counseling sessions at Younkin, and we hope that the resource booths will help them be more informed and to take advantage of what is available to them,” Bhandari said.

Free Chipotle only lasted for about 30 minutes before running out.

“I’m kind of disappointed that the food ran out so fast, but it doesn’t ruin the day for me. I think it’s a good event for the campus,” said Ray Schrand, a second-year in business.

The Student Wellness Center and OSU Suicide Prevention also set up booths around campus to talk with students about counseling options when stress management issues arise.

“I know not everyone in OSI may feel this way, but I think that if we can help at least one person at Ohio State be happier or to seek counseling, then Best Day is a success to me,” Bhandari said.

OSI received $5,000 to fund the event along with about $1,500 in donations.

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