Mental health is something that affects people of every age, race, background and religion. According to Banyan Mental Health, by speaking out about mental health, the stigma surrounding it will slowly be unveiled.
Dixie State University’s Multicultural and Inclusion Center and the Booth Wellness Center are hosting a Minority Mental Health Series. This will take place virtually on the second Wednesday of each month.
“These Minority Mental Health Series create that space where people feel comfortable, where people can have an opportunity, where people can tell their stories and that what they have gone through is valid,” said Brione Lockett, MIC coordinator for African American students.
Lockett, who is also the Black Student Union coordinator, said the series will build a community at DSU through individuals sharing their experiences and trials with one another.
“I think it will be very helpful to speak about mental health so that people know they are not alone,” said Justice Slayton, a junior business management major from Bloomington, Illinois.
The series is for all students and faculty members at DSU, whether they struggle with mental health or want to educate themselves and learn more about the topic.
“I believe if students take advantage of the program, then the benefits could be limitless,” said Samuela Tupola, a junior integrated studies major from Salt Lake City. “I haven’t seen something like this on campus before, so I really am excited for it to get on the ground and running.”
In the future, Lockett intends to conduct the series in person, as the face-to-face experience will make a bigger impact on each individual who participates.
“I would love to have these in person because research says people do better with these conversations in person,” Lockett said.
Lockett said he will be offering a one-on-one conversation with any student or faculty member that has a desire for a more personal experience. The Booth Wellness Center also provides free mental health sessions to all students at DSU.
“I wish that I would have known at a younger age that it was OK to express how you felt mentally to somebody,” Tupola said. “I believed for a long time mental health wasn’t considered a health issue at all, which is very detrimental to our society.”
Lockett said it is important that every faculty member and student at DSU has a place where they feel comfortable having the conversation about mental health.
“I think that students don’t know about spaces where they can have those conversations; they don’t know people who can have those conversations with them,” Lockett said.
Lockett said he and the mental health experts running the series are hoping to bring guests onto the series who have specialized in specific areas of mental health. The series will be focusing on educating the community about mental health illnesses, strategies to cope with mental health, and more.
“I think it’s vital for our generation to understand the seriousness of the issue and how by having these types of discussions we can elevate each other, especially those who suffer from it,” Tupola said.