Issues of mental health come up a lot in the lives of college students, but when it comes to reducing the stigma around mental illness, some feel that it is a matter of all talk and no action.
Colorado State University’s chapter of the Theta Chi Fraternity, recognizing the lack of action regarding the stigma around mental illness, will host an event to raise awareness about mental health in Clark A105 from 5 p.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 7.
Kanayo Okolo, a sophomore undeclared business interest student and member of Theta Chi, said that the focus of the event is on educating other students.
“We’re holding this mental health awareness event basically to just educate other students at CSU about how to articulate themselves, how to help people and how to consult other students,” Okolo said.
The fraternity hopes to educate students on a variety of mental health issues including suicide, depression and addiction, according to Okolo.
The event will feature a round table format, allowing attendees to engage in a dialogue with mental health professionals on various topics. Students will be able to discuss these mental health issues in small groups for about eight minutes before rotating to the next topic.
Okolo said it is important for students to be able to discuss these issues in a setting of their choice.
“Basically, I just wanted to have an open dialogue that would make people feel more comfortable,” Okolo said. “It’s more intimate, not like you’re in a classroom and someone is just making you talk about something you don’t want to (talk about).”
The ultimate goal of the event is to reduce stigmas of mental health through education. Likewise, Okolo hopes students take away the skills they need to manage different mental health situations in their own lives and to be able to consult one another on campus.
“I might not really know you, but I could maybe be there for you if I know you’re struggling,” Okolo said. “That’s really what I’m hoping will come out from this, just to educate one another.”
Collegian reporter Natalia Sperry can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @Natalia_Sperry.