On Tuesday, March 20 at 6:00 p.m., Jordan Corcoran came to the ballroom to speak about Mental Health Awareness. Corcoran is the creator of the website “Listen, Lucy” (listenlucy.org) and she was brought in by the Panhellenic Council to talk about Greek Life. This was the first time Corcoran did a talk about the support Greek Life can give someone, whether they are suffering from a mental illness or not.
“You have three very important things built in to Greek Life. One is support. You get this built in support from your sisters or brothers when you join. The second is connection. When you join a sorority or fraternity, you become connected to these people whom you may have never met, but become instantly close. The last thing you guys have are these shared values. You join a sorority or fraternity because you know the values and they are the same or close to your own.”
Corcoran herself has a mental illness. She suffers from Anxiety Panic Disorder. She said when she gets panic attacks it’s like her “chest starts caving in, I start hyper-ventilating, which would result in me either passing out or throwing up.”
She has been hospitalized before from these attacks and uses social media to help people going through mental illnesses as well as show to show her own journey.
Corcoran knows that everyone deals with mental illness differently. First she spoke about what she has used to help her over the years.
“Anxiety coloring books, deep breathing, I am currently medicated and even though it is not my favorite thing it helps, and writing. Writing is the main that helped me. I would write down how I was feeling and it helped me start to heal.”
She spoke about how she wrote for her paper in college, which in turn asked if Slippery Rock had a paper. Someone shouted that it was called The Rocket and she said
“Go Rocket! Go support the school newspaper.”
Corcoran then explained what Listen, Lucy was and how it started.
“Listen, Lucy is about being able to express yourself freely and anonymously. And with listenlucy.org, it gives people the chance to talk about Mental Illness, relationships, loneliness, eating disorders, suicide and everything in between.”
After explaining some statistics of mental illness on college campuses and in students, Corcoran had the crowd do some activities. The first was she has everyone write out on their phones what was stressing them out at the moment. When the time was up, she asked if anyone wanted to share how that activity made them feel.
The second activity was where she read a few scenarios talking about Mental Illness. She read the scenario and then would ask the crowd if they would say they would tell whoever that they had a mental illness. This resulted in people standing up if they agreed they would tell the person.
The final activity was called Cross the Line. She had everyone in the crowd line up facing each other and standing next to someone they did not know. She would say things and if they related to you then you would cross the line. The questions ranged from silly and simple such as “If you like pizza cross the line. If you like ice cream cross the line.” Then the questions got a little more intense and personal such as “If you were raised by a single parent, If you know someone in the LGBT community, If you feel comfortable talking to an adult on campus etc…”
With Mental Health Awareness being a huge topic, it was important to have Jordan Corcoran come and speak about not only her own story, but share that no one is alone and you have people to talk to.