The President’s Commission on Mental Health held the Mental Health Fair Thursday to enhance mental health educate and awareness of resources on campus.
The event welcomed students and faculty members to this event where various organizations held tables and activities themed around mental health. Organizations such as Student Government Association (SGA), the counseling center, Active Minds, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and more had representatives at this event to encourage spreading education about mental health.
Students in attendance could visit tables and create bracelets, receive stress balls, create their own essential oils, receive handouts with methods on how to manage stress and play with therapy dogs.
Two newer organizations on campus that specialize in spreading mental health awareness, Active Minds and NAMI, were present at the event. Both organizations are national, but have campus affiliates to promote mental health awareness.
Active Minds is a nationwide organization that hosts a chapter on Slippery Rock’s campus who’s purpose is to advocate, educate and destigmatize mental health. Kelly Carver, a junior developmental psychology and gender studies major, is President of Active Minds.
Carver said that Active Minds aims to build a healthier campus community and to break down the stigma surrounding mental health.
“There are activities that can provide different coping methods,” Carver said. “I hope [students] know that it’s okay and that it’ll be okay.”
Carver describes Active Minds general body meetings as discussion based on educational topics surrounding mental health in order to widen perspectives on the topic.
To spread awareness about mental health and taking care of yourself, Active Minds also provides VAR workshops in residence halls and classroom settings that provide insight on taking care of others and yourself at the same time.
“You’re not alone,” Carve said. “Reach out to somebody. You don’t have to do it alone.”
Similar to Carver and Active Minds, NAMI is a national organization with an affiliate on campus. The national organization focuses on spreading mental health awareness across the country, while the affiliate promotes mental health awareness and education for students and staff on campus.
President of NAMI Evan Markowitz, senior nonprofit management and philanthropy major, said that the organization is fairly new, but has been making strides.
Markowitz believes that mental illness is a big problem in students’ lives and encouraged them to find activities that defeat mental illness, such as exercise, participating in a club or attending a campus event.
“Don’t give up,” Markowitz said. “Keep pushing. I know how hard it is to keep going when you’re down.”
Markowitz, along with NAMI, encourage students and faculty to take advantage of the resources on campus.
NAMI holds their meetings on the first and third Tuesdays of each month and encourages students to attend and follow their social media @NAMI_SRU.
“There’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” Markowitz said. “This is just the beginning.”