This week I attended the IT’S NOT FAIR panel and research fair on Monday, February 27 at 11 a.m. To be completely honest I attended this event to get credit for a class, this blog is giving me credit for writing two blogs… I showed up expecting to stay only for a little bit, just enough time to get pictures and the gist of what was going on, then when the panel starting speaking I was intrigued and stayed for much longer than expected.
The panel spoke to a lot of things that I was able to relate to, which honestly I was very surprised by. The young man on the far right in the picture, spoke of how we came to Central as a transfer student and lived off campus. He said that friends were not readily available to him and he was not very happy. He began doing things that gave him a little extra spark, for him it was skiing. He said he had always loved skiing but he began doing dangerous things that before he never would have. after hearing about an accident a friend of his had while skiing because of his depression. He realized that he was also depressed and sought help.
Though I cannot relate to the skiing part of his story, since I don’t do that, I can relate to more of his story than I thought. I am also a transfer student that lives off campus and that makes it hard to make friends outside of the circle you may already have. Luckily, those friends that I do have are amazing and never let me feel lonely or sad, but I can see how that can easily happen to a person especially on a college campus.
The panel spoke about how mental health in real life is much different than what is portrayed on the movies. That many people struggle with mental health and you may never know. It can be you roommate, your best friend, or the person sitting next to you in class. Many people feel sad and alone and they do not even realize that they are having real depressive feelings. For most people depression is gradual, it is not just something you wake up in the morning with and if you know someone that is struggling with sadness or maybe you yourself is, you should talk about it because that can really help.
The panel spoke of mental health conditions other than just depression, they spoke a lot about PTSD in student veterans, because two of the panelists were veterans who suffer from PTSD. I can also relate to this issue because I have some very close friends who are over seas and after they serve are planning on attending college. I did not even think that they might suffer from PTSD in the future and that might effect them when it comes to be a normal student. But now if God forbid it does happen, I can at least direct them in how to get help.
All in all, I was very pleased with the panel as well as the resource fair, I learned so much and was actually interested about what was being talked about which like I said before I was not expecting at all. Through this fair and panel I learned that there are so many resources on campus for students to utilize. Including, counseling services, both group as well as individual, and you already pay for it in the quarterly fee, so you might as well use it. There are also different groups on campus that can help including Mindful Monday’s, where you practice mindfulness that can help improve your mood, sleep, concentration, listening skill, as well as teach you ways to encounter your life with awareness, acceptance, and compassion.
Never be ashamed in talking to someone about how you are feeling, know you are never alone, and it is easy to get help if you want it.
Nearly 1-in-5 Americans have a diagnosable mental health condition. Don’t be afraid to talk about it!