Tri-City Mental Health partnered with the Randall Lewis Center for Well-Being and Research to host a “Paint and Take Action for Mental Health” event Wednesday.
This event – one of many to honor Mental Health Awareness Month – took place on the patio of the Lewis Center, where chairs and tables were set up with worksheets, cardstock and paints for participants in the activity.
The workshop was split into sections, beginning with introductions followed by five minutes to answer questions on the worksheets about personal interpretations of mental health.
Students were then encouraged to use their responses as inspiration for creating artwork.
“Our hope is to provide a space for students to express their mental health and ways they can take action through a painting activity,” said Brittany Nguyen of Tri-City Mental Health.
The session ended with students sharing their thought process of their art.
Some students talked about their artwork and what it represents to them.
“I painted two people with one side showing a big jumbled mess and the other uplifting and upbeat because I think a lot of people battle from having a negative thought, which is the part I usually neglect taking care of,” said Briana Juarez, sophomore business administration major. “And the other side is me starting to focus on myself.”
“I try to emphasize going to mental health resources from the school, such as La Verne’s CAPS, to become more familiarized with it and looking within the area,” said sophomore business administration Kaylen Smith. “There are so many nonprofits that will help students throughout these struggles.”
A photograph of the artwork will go to Tri-City’s art gallery.
Students who were previously familiar with resources from Tri-City Mental Health shared their experience of growing more comfortable with topics of mental health.
“Their webinars really helped me get out of my comfort zone and talking about mental health because the stigmas around it have not always been kind and I think being surrounded by people who are also struggling is nice to be in a judge-free space,” Juarez said.
Tri-City Mental Health is not new to collaborating with the University of La Verne on programming for students.
“Tri-City mental health has a history where we have been serving in the cities of Claremont, Pomona, and La Verne and since La Verne is located in our service area, we have built partnerships in the past where we provide mental health wellness activities, training, and services,” Nguyen said.
Programming with Tri-City will likely continue as University staff hope to increase access and awareness of various mental health resources.
“Anytime a student can do anything to enhance their mental health it is a win-win for the student and for Tri-City and the Lewis Center for being able to provide that,” said Allison Krich, operations manager of the Lewis Center.
Yulissa Chavez can be reached at email@example.com.