Seniors in Media and Strategic Communications Department advocate for mental health

Emily Varker, Copy Editor

Four seniors hosted an event to spread mental health awareness to their fellow college students on April 20 for their capstone project for MSC 499.  

One of the main parts of the event was the student hosts sharing their own coping tips for handling the stress that comes towards the end of the college semester. One of the hosts, Halle Shapiro, mentioned that she was feeling anxiety shortly before the event was set to begin. Her way of coping? Taking a walk. She said that taking a walk was a good way to relieve stress because it is a way to take time to yourself. One of the other hosts, Julianna LaBarbara, talked about dance as her escape place. She said about dancing, “All my worries go away.”  

The formal portion of the program ended with an anonymous survey, where students were asked to close their eyes and raise their hand if they felt a statement about stress pertained to them. It was revealed after the participants had re-opened their eyes that the majority of students had raised their hands, demonstrating that no one is alone in being stressed. Participants and hosts then congregated over light refreshments for further discussion. 

Compared to other events about mental health awareness which are run by the Counseling Center, this event was student-run, though they did receive assistance from the Counseling Center.  

“It’s different with college students running the event,” Shapiro said. “It’s important to hear from your colleagues about mental health and how they cope.”  

It seems to be an approach which worked. One of the attendees, Gianna Cocovinis, appreciated the event. 

“[I]t was a great eye-opener to mental health awareness, and I definitely appreciated learning more about it,” Cocovinis said.