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RA educates students on U.S. mental health

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Vanessa Martinez
Staff Writer

Residents from Vista La Verne housing were invited to join Tyler Agajanian and Jason Souriolle where they presented “Can you relate?” an event that talked about the awareness of mental illnesses in the United States Wednesday night in the Vista Lounge.

Souriolle, senior kinesiology major and resident assistant at Vista La Verne, allowed Agajanian, sophomore business administration major, to make a program related to mental health, and he offered to help sponsor the event.

“I wanted to challenge him and get him out of his comfort zone by having him present in something that he’s passionate about,” Souriolle said.

Agajanian wanted to show students how many people in the U.S. suffer from some type mental illness.

“I got inspired by one of my favorite music artists, Logic who spreads awareness on mental issues through his music,” Agajanian said.

Souriolle and Agajanian started by giving the students a short quiz on the statistics of mental illnesses.

Students learned that there are over 200 classified forms of mental illnesses, and that 19 million people in the U.S. suffer some form of phobia.

They also learned that only 40 percent of college students go out and find help.

Agajanian said that he wanted the students who suffer from any mental illness to know that they’re not alone.

Nikole Spencer, senior kinesiology major, came to support Agajanian in his first event and was curious to learn more about mental health.

“I think it’s important to be reminded about how many people are affected by a mental illness,” Spencer said.

She said that students are constantly interacting other students in the university and they sometimes forget to have a moment to take a moment to learn if they suffer from any mental illnesses.

“I think it’s important to have these events that help educate the students,” said Nicole Marie Temple, sophomore biology major.

She said that college students often have to balance their educational careers and part-time jobs, which limits students in learning about other important issues, such as their own mental health. She said that a lot of students are afraid to come out and ask for mental health assistance and do not want to be categorized as mentally unstable.

Souriolle and Agajanian said that students can find a health specialist or if they feel uncomfortable with speaking to someone they’ve never met.

They also suggested building a support network through friends.

Souriolle and Agajanian encouraged students to visit the Counseling and Psychological Services that provide one on one counseling that is offered at the university.

Vanessa Martinez can be reached at vanessamartinez4@laverne.edu

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