To help mark Mental Health Month in May, Oregon State University’s Counseling & Psychological Services, along with key university partners, has developed a variety of programming on mental health topics.
The month's focus is on events designed to offer engaging and creative ways to get students involved. The overarching goals are to raise awareness of mental health, help people feel more comfortable opening up to friends or family when struggling with mental health concerns, and to increase the awareness of mental health resources and encourage people to seek help from them.
Here are some of the highlights:
• "Stories of Strength: Empowerment through Creativity" (May 8, 7-9 p.m. in the Construction & Engineering Hall of LaSells Stewart Center) showcases OSU students or college-age artists sharing personal stories about their struggles with mental health and how they used art or creativity to increase their feelings of resilience.
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• "Movies for Mental Health" (May 10, 6-8 p.m. in the Memorial Union Horizon Room) is a workshop that focuses on empowering young adults, educators, health professionals and community members. The goal is to harness film to engage with young people on the topic of mental health.
• "Art Saves Lives" (May 22-26 at The Arts Center in Corvallis) is an exhibit focusing on mental health challenges. The goal is to work toward eliminating the stigma surrounding mental illness via the showcasing of art and the artists’ stories.
“One of the most effective ways to reduce stigma is by hearing real people telling their stories in inspiring ways," said Bonnie Hemrick, the mental health promotion specialist for Oregon State University.