Student organizations on campus work together to raise mental health awareness – The Daily Free Press

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Isolation, fear, and loneliness – from distance learning to the pandemic to returning to personal class schedules after vaccination – were difficult mental health issues for many students.

The Terrier Thrive Together logo. The collaborative venture was set up to educate Boston University students about the mental health resources on campus throughout October. ILLUSTRATION BY SHANNON DAMIANO / DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

To help students struggling with mental health, the Terriers Thrive Together project is hosting resource advancement events on campus in October. The fair addressed many mental health intersections, including color students, people with disabilities, and sexual assault survivors.

The project was virtual last year, and after the pandemic, organizers made a point of providing support and resources to students in both in-person and online events. This year’s events range from self-help groups, writing workshops, community talks to social outings, and include events that are both open to the general BU community and specialize in specific marginalized groups.

Savannah Majarwitz, a senior at the College of Arts and Sciences and co-chair of the Student Government Mental Health Committee, said the project was a collaboration between different groups on campus such as the Student Government Mental Health Committee, the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Behavioral Medicine, wellness and prevention and wellbeing project.

“It’s really just about creating broader mental health awareness and then seeing where the gaps are,” said Majarwitz. “We want to hear feedback from students, we want to know how we can improve … we want to know how we can communicate this directly to the administrators and how they can expand resources.”

Terriers Thrive Together hosted a mental health fair at Marsh Chapel Plaza on October 13th that featured a range of booths and information from behavioral medicine, student organizations like Campus Survivors and, perhaps the crowd’s favorite, a mental health support dog.

Melissa Paz, associate director of Mental Health Promotion with Student Health Services, said the goal of the fair is to show students what mental health resources are available on campus.

“The visibility of mental health as a major issue is really becoming more and more visible,” said Paz [help] to do that.”

Paz said students struggling with their mental health should know there are many services on campus to contact for help.

“Tapping into your emotions and recognizing whatever you are feeling, no matter what you would call it, is so important and knowing that [you’re] not alone, “said Paz.” If [students] I don’t know where to look, just asking someone and starting somewhere is often just a very good first step. “

Brooke Angell, a senior at CAS and president of Active Minds, said the BU club is focused on destigmatizing mental health problems.

“You will always have people struggling with depression, anxiety and things like that,” Angell said.[and] with the stress of the pandemic and returning to school while the pandemic is still going on it is very stressful.

The fair also featured several booths from outside organizations from the greater Boston area, including DeeDee’s Cry, an organization dedicated to suicide prevention for colored communities and promoting the importance of mental health education and resources.

Toy Burton, founder and executive director of DeeDee’s Cry, said the pandemic is having a significant impact on the mental health of color communities, including “inequalities when it comes to health care time.”

“The biggest part is having these conversations and getting people to share their stories in order to break down the stigma surrounding mental health and color communities,” said Burton.

Christopher Robinson, Public Relations and Training Coordinator for BU’s Disability and Access Services, represented the department with a booth at the fair.

“Mental health is broad and ambiguous. It’s a gauntlet we have to walk through, ”said Robinson. “Disability Access Services Approaches to Relieve Mental Health Stress [for individuals with disabilities]. “

Majarwitz said she had “mixed thoughts” about the university’s support for mental health services, but said funding the fair through the BU Student Activities Office was a valued and good move.

“I think that means they are ready to support mental health events,” she said. “I would really like to see these efforts and passion translated into supporting more services for students.”


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