The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
To celebrate Suicide Prevention Month, HerCampus CUA partnered with CUA Psychology Club to have a conversation about mental health on campus!
The event began with a presentation by the co-presidents of CUA Psych Club, Devin O’Donnell and Julia Perez, who discussed a few ways to implement self-care, which included taking preventative measures, finding support systems, knowing and learning more about yourself, and discovering your inner peace. Then, different members of both of the clubs’ E-boards were given the opportunity to talk about their own mental health journey and what helps them get through tough times.
Julia Perez discussed how she struggles with a lot of intrusive thoughts and often found her mind spiraling out of control. She began therapy, and although she still deals with it every day, she is working towards a healthier mindset. She empowered the group when she said, “you’re human, and you’re getting through this every single day, so you should be proud of that.”
HerCampus CUA Freshmen Representative, Cecilia Johnson, was very vulnerable with the group when she talked about her mental health, saying that she didn’t even realize that she was struggling with things until she left home and began to live independently at college. When she began to get help, people expected her to heal quickly, but she made it known that everyone heals in their own way and that it is okay if it takes time. Cecilia encouraged members of both clubs to find the things that help you heal, and gave some examples like running, therapy, and listening to music. Both women were very courageous in sharing their personal stories.
The event continued with an anonymous google form about mental health that attendees filled out, and Devin and Julia discussed the different answers with the group. One of the questions asked was: have you ever struggled with mental health issues? There was a 100% yes to that question. Devin expressed that she was not surprised, as mental health issues are common in college-aged people, but that it was important that we all recognized our struggles and were able to work through them. Another question asked about songs that helped those attending through mental health issues. Some of the answers included “Fine Line” by Harry Styles and “Vienna” by Billy Joel, both of which were crowd favorites. We also talked about people who have helped us in our lives, and people’s answers ranged from family members and friends to roommates and therapists.
The event ended with an open discussion about different ways that attendees dealt with their struggles. Julianna Gahr, a member of CUA Psych Club, said that she likes to grab lunch and sit on the Basilica Lawn on a beautiful day, enjoying the breeze and listening to the city noises. Events Coordinator of HerCampus CUA, Julia Pandolfi, talked about how during the cold months of the second semester last year, she needed a lot of pick-me-ups. Her go-to activity was to simply put headphones in, press play on a playlist called “Hot Girl Walk,” and do laps around campus. This was empowering and the exercise and fresh air helped her get through seasonal depression. Angelina Signore, HerCampus CUA’s Marketing Director, likes to do a 5 Minute Journal every day and reflect on the quotes given in the morning and evening. The journal also has other prompts such as inviting you to write three things you’re appreciative of, three things you’re looking forward to, self, affirmations, and things that could’ve gone better today. Angelina said it keeps her grounded and the routine of it helps her to do a good thing for her mental health every single day.
The event was a great opportunity for two clubs to collaborate and spread a positive message of the importance of caring for your mental health!