Spectrum held a discussion on the stigma surrounding mental health and why people should not stereotype those who have mental health conditions on Sept. 29. Members discussed why the stigmas exist, why it is important to stop the spread of stereotype and how members can make a difference by spreading awareness. Jacob Lee // DN
Spectrum discusses mental health to break stigmas, spread awareness
“People don’t like to talk about it, so it’s good to make people aware of it.”
The stigma surrounding mental health continues to be an issue within society today, but one student organization is working to change that through starting conversations and spreading awareness. At their meeting on Sept. 29, Spectrum held a conversation confronting mental health stigmas and why people should not stereotype those who have mental health conditions.
“Because people don’t talk about it, people kind of shove it in a corner … when it’s not confronted it leads to confusion and sadness," said Jackson Miner, a freshman zoology major.
Members discussed why the stigmas exist, why it is important to stop the spread of stereotype, and how the members can help make difference by spreading awareness on mental health.
“Awareness for mental health is important because it affects a lot more of us then we would be led to believe,” said Mariann Fant, the Spectrum president.
Those who have mental health issues may not seek the help they need because of stigmas surrounding their conditions. Only 41 percent of adults in the U.S. with a mental health condition received mental health services in the past year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Health.
The best way change that is by creating a more accepting, encouraging society for those struggling with mental health conditions, Fant said.
“When we do talk about it at meetings like this, it lets people know that it is OK, that it is OK to have this health problem and there are ways to fix it,” Fant said.
During the event, members also wrote letters to their future selves as a way to set goals and communicate their current thoughts.
“I’m not really seen as somebody who has any problems — I’m seen as an outspoken, very fun-loving kind of person,” said Brianna Pierces, a senior public communication studies major. “So the reason it’s important to get rid of the stigma is because there will be days that I am not a fun-loving person and I will need somebody to pick me up.”
Spectrum's next event will be Oct. 6 in the L.A. Pittenger Student Center Cardinal Hall C. The organization will host a "Poly Panel" to give members an opportunity to learn and ask questions about polyamory.