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Rakhi Agrawal: A Heart of Gold

Rakhi Agrawal 

Year: 2014
School/Major: BC, Applied Mathematics and Philosophy
What is your role in the events for Mental Health Awareness Week?: I am a part of both teams working to put together all of the programming for the two weeks!
How did you get involved in Mental Health Awareness on Campus?: My sophomore fall, my friend Tina killed herself, and around the same time, both Active Minds and Student Wellness Project were founded on campus. I was a founding member of both and have been involved since–Mental Health Awareness Week and Random Acts of Kindness Week were annual events that start that following spring, and I’ve tried to do my part in helping ensure that they become annual traditions.
Why do we need “RAK” week and “Mental Health Awareness” on the Columbia Campus? As an overlapping member of Active Minds and SWP, I approached our boards with the idea of collaborating and formally putting together Mental Health Awareness Week and Random Acts of Kindness Week, as our ideals, values, and missions are closely linked. We need MHAW to spread awareness about mental health issues, as experienced by our peers, in THIS community, and to open up dialogues about these issues while connecting people to resources. We need RAK Week to heal as a community, step outside of ourselves and come together to support and care for one another.
What are some things students can do in their daily life to improve their mental health?: I think each person’s mental health looks different and what might work for me might be the complete opposite of what someone else needs. In general, I think sleeping enough, eating well, sharing and connecting with other humans can improve most people’s mental health. Also, being mindful of yourself and others. I find that I spend a great majority of my time thinking about others, and especially how what I do affects other people. This helps me have a deeper, fuller understanding of myself and the world around me, which helps my mental health overall.
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Liana Gergely

Columbia Barnard

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