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KNOXVILLE — For college students, mental health can take a backseat to other concerns and commitments. But failing to pay attention to mental health can lead to serious problems and affect students’ studies, work and personal life.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is working to raise mental health awareness with the VolAware Street Fair. The fair will take place Tuesday, Oct. 7, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the University Center Plaza.

VolAware is UT’s mental health awareness, wellness and suicide prevention campaign. The fair will give students and the community the chance to meet mental health professionals and learn about services on campus and in the community. Students also can take part in activities like mental health “Jeopardy!” and a bean-bag toss, and express their inner child by playing on large inflatable toys and finger-painting.

Other events include:

– Mental Health Screenings from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Room 216 in the UC
– Chair massages from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the UC Plaza
– QPR training (suicide prevention) from 10 a.m. to
11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Room 221 in the UC
– WUTK remote broadcast from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on
the UC Plaza
– Salsa dance lessons from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the UC Plaza
– Rape Aggression Defense demonstrations from 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the UC Plaza
– Yoga classes from noon to 12:30 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the UC Crest Room

The VolAware Street Fair is hosted by the UT Counseling Center and the Safety, Environment and Education (SEE) Center, and UT students and staff are involved in planning the event.

There are a variety of resources available on campus for students, faculty and staff as part of VolAware.
The Counseling Center offers free and confidential counseling for individuals, couples and groups. The Dean of Students Office acts as a clearinghouse for students to connect with services on campus, and a case manager is available to help students. The university has provided faculty and staff with a protocol to help distressed students. Faculty, staff and students can call 974-HELP to report concerns about someone else.
For more information, visit


Elizabeth Davis, UT media relations, (865) 974-5179,