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Mental health tackled

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Anthony Carter
Staff Writer

Representatives from Tri-City Mental Health Services and senior public relations major Joshua Francis spoke to 22 audience members Wednesday about the importance of mental health and the ways people can help themselves and others.

Francis organized the event as part of his senior project.

“I feel that mental health is a very overlooked topic, especially on our campus,” Francis said. “Mental health is just as important as physical health. It should be 50-50. It drove me to do my senior project showcasing our mental health center.”

There are many negative misconceptions around mental health, said Carrie Kennedy, a family therapist from Tri-City.

“Those who have mental health issues and won’t get any medical treatment accept it because that is how people make them feel,” Kennedy said. “People get isolated from society when there is something wrong.”

For his project Francis created a three-minute video showcasing how students on campus relieve stress and where they can go for help.

“A lot of students are afraid to ask for the help from Counseling and Psychological Services because they are afraid they may be judged, when 100 percent of the time everything is confidential unless they are trying to do harm to others on campus,” Gibran Carter, mental health services coordinator, said.

Some students do not know where the CAPS office is, and those who do are not willing to get help that they need.

Many students end up venting to their parents, friends, teachers or significant others.

“Stress is part of mental health as well,” Kennedy said. “Many people deal with it in different ways, from exercising, listening to music, or even separating themselves from what stresses them out.”

Francis and Kennedy showed the audience a “my self care plan” where anyone can write down their plans to help them cope with stress and who to go to when they need to vent.

The event had a five minute session on meditation, another stress relief method.

“The event was really informational and an eye-opening experience. A lot of people cannot see that they may have a mental illness so it is important to vocalize how they feel,” Emily Nguyen, junior business administration major, said.

Anthony Carter can be contacted at anthony.carter@laverne.edu.

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