By Katerina McCauley |Staff Writer|
The clock tower tolled the hour over a silent lawn littered with backpacks representing deceased students who had committed suicide.
Let the display shock and sober you, but don’t take it at face value.
Walking past the event to class, I couldn’t help but think ‘I hope to God they don’t do just this one event and disappear. We don’t need martyrs and saints made out of us; we need help.
The institutionalized silence about what horrifies us and stunts us to the crippling brink of self-hate is what needs to disappear.
There is definitely a different attitude on campus about student mental health, than there was two years ago. There’s no point in mulling over the years in comparison, but events like Send Silence Packing and Creating a Thousand Lights are what help keep the conversation flowing.
Help is the goal of administrators and students alike.
Health Educator, Carlos Carrio, wants to work towards destigmatizing the negative connotations attached to mental health.
“I want to change the culture here on campus, to where saying ‘I’m depressed’ is no different than saying ‘I have diabetes,” said Carrio.
Awareness isn’t enough. I’m hopeful to see more of these suicide awareness events.
I would love to see more stress relief and other self-orientated events continue.
According to Heather Webster-Henry, marriage family therapist intern, there will be more events geared towards the student self, including open lawn mediation, seminars on relationships, how to be a better friend, how to heal when a relationship ends and more.
These events are scheduled throughout the months of October and November.
It is great to see so much administrative involvement in mental health events. It is exciting to hear that more events can continue with the help of a hefty grant that has been received. Because of this more events and seminars are scheduled to continue.
Out of the two events, Creating a Thousand Lights was more emotional for me. I thought of my friends that were effected by mental illness. This would have been a good event for her to participate in to help her heal.
It was more personal than the event it followed, and it sadly didn’t get as much attention either.
Active Minds members were present at each events.
At one of the events club President Ashley Pulido said, “ I believe that more events like these and awareness events are good for the campus.”
With only 10 members, there are a few students involved.
The bulk of student participation came from Peer Health Educators.
Active Minds are always looking for students interested in joining there club, and you can contact their president at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
You can also contact the campus Health Center any time you have questions, concerns or wish to participate in upcoming events.
Participation is the key.
With more participation these groups can out on even more programs for students.
More awareness will be spread and more people will be helped. .
By participating in events like these, we are showing the administration these are topics we care about.
We need to continue the conversation about mental health on campus for years to come.