In light of the student suicide last semester, and amidst stigmatized conversations about mental health following the recent school shootings, Associated Students and Student Health services collaborated last week on the second Mental Health Awareness week of the school year.
The events included showings of Pixar’s “Inside Out” and the documentary film “A New State of Mind,” as well as a mindfulness workshop that was held in the Circadian.
“It’s very important that we let those students know what can be done to help them and where they can go if needed,” Lian Zhang, the Associated Students Vice President for Campus Activities said.
One of the largest goals for Personal Counseling and Student Health Services, along with stopping gun violence, is the awareness and prevention of suicide.
“It’s not just about the gun violence that’s happening, it’s about the suicide that happened on this campus,” said Zhang.
In many cases, having problems with mental health can be looked down upon with little hope for acceptance. Normalizing the issue may further help students to assimilate during their time at PCC.
“We try to raise awareness so that it’s more normalized,” said Nairy Tatlion, the Health Education Assistant for the Student Health Services.
In more extreme circumstances, students may not realize that they are battling mental health issues. Depression, which looks different from person to person, tends to develop gradually and may or may not have specific causes.
“A lot of students actually face mental health issues, whether they know it, or don’t know it yet,” said Tatlion.
In other cases, students may not be ready to speak to a counselor or health supervisor.
“The bigger conversation is to seek help,” said Vir-Laesta Vergel De Dios, the Health Educator for Student Health Services. “It’s great that you know where you can go for services, but are you ready to realize, [you] need help outside of [your] own self.”
Resources for students looking for help and counsel can be found in L-108, the personal counseling office, and D-203, Student Health Services.