Eastern Michigan University students from the leadership & counseling department helped fight the stigma against mental health with ‘mental health awareness week’ on campus.
“We organized the mental health program in hopes of providing resources to students living with depression, anxiety, alienation or any other mental illness or stressors,” said Hannah Redigan, a coordinator for mental health awareness week along with Kelsey Mozdzlerz, and Krystol Smith.
Resource booths were located in the student center, providing students with information about mental health resources such as the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and Active Minds. Social resources, such as International Student Service, provide students with community support.
“We hope students find something to help cope with their pain,” Redigan said.
Actives Minds is an organization that focuses on reducing mental health stigma on college campuses. NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness; it is also the nation's largest grassroots organization for people with mental illness. According to the NAMI, 1 in 5 U.S adults will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime.
Students in passing collected information from the booth and asked questions regarding resources provided to help with mental illness.
“Providing information like this on campus can help the college community be more aware of mental illness, be active in speaking up about mental illness, and to try to end the stigma on campus,” Mozdzierz said.
Various activities for students have been formed to tailor to their individual needs. To mention a few: yoga, wellness woof (Therapy dogs), and workshops are offered to all registered EMU students. The idea is to provide tools to help reduce anxiety, depression, and stress. While also improving emotional well-being.
Mental health awareness week on intends to share a powerful message of the importance of taking mental health seriously.
“There is a stigma against mental illness that too often deters people from seeking treatment when they need it,” Redigan said.
With the help of campus resources provided by CAPS, the Wellness Center, SAFE NOW, the Women’s Resource Center, as well as the Snow Health Services, students can identify mental health challenges.
“The Out of the Darkness suicide prevention walk [we] held revealed how much potential, how many lives are lost to suicide and mental illness each year,” Redigan said.
Student coordinated the mental awareness event hoping to provide support tools about mental health, and to contribute to making EMU a safe campus.
“We hope that we can reach students and let them know that they are loved, and they have a community that cares about them, and wants to help them,” Redigan said.
If you or someone you know is struggling with issues related to mental health or contemplating suicide, CAPS recommends calling 734-487-1118 for phone support or 1-800-273-TALK.