U.C. panel challenges stigmas of mental health

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As much as communities hate to admit it, illnesses that range from anxiety to OCD are many times placed on the backburner in favor of the noticeable flu. On Thursday March 10, Pacific University will be host to a panel discussion, sponsored by Rainbow Coalition, on mental health will discuss the potential on changing that stigma.

Starting at 12 p.m. in the U.C., an hour-long discussion entitled “Mental Health Stigma and Resources” will feature representatives from the Student Counseling Center, Trillium Family Services, the Psychology department, and the psychology honor society Psi Chi to discuss the stigmas surrounding mental health.

“Additionally, we’ll be talking about resources available on campus with the student counseling center, as well as off-campus and more broadly, just the effect of a lack or excess of resources available for mental health issues,” junior Rainbow Coalition Public Relations Officer Wyatt Swayngim said.

Rainbow Coalition, with the help of Psi Chi, decided to put together a discussion panel to show just how much physical health and mental health are inappropriately separated from each other.

“I think the most important thing is just having discussion about mental health, and kind of normalizing that… to be able to get to reduce those stigmas, and how it affects students,” senior Rainbow Coalition Vice president Andy Amick said.

Amick says that two of the panel representatives, psychology professor Dawn Salgado and Psi Chi president Grant Johnson, will be especially helpful for discussion, as they both have been involved with research focused on the Pacific campus, regarding the barriers that students have especially encountered when seeking out resources for mental illness.

Rainbow Coalition express their passion on this subject, as well as the way the LGBTQ community, along with Pacific students, are affected by it.

“The LGBTQ population suffers disproportionately from mental health issues, a lot of that stemming from their identities and the confusion and anxiety that comes from that,” Swayngim said.

Swayngim says that this panel is meant to appeal to as many people as possible, and that the discussion will be open to audience members to ask questions.

The panel will start at 12 p.m. in the UC, and will continue until 1 p.m. The event is open to anyone that wishes to attend.


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