The Daily Tar Heel

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Saturday March 25th

Rethink campaigns to address mental, emotional health on campus

Tara Bohley, Behavior Health Springboard Director, talks about mitigating the sigma associated with mental illnesses at The "We" in Wellness event.
Buy Photos Tara Bohley, Behavior Health Springboard Director, talks about mitigating the sigma associated with mental illnesses at The "We" in Wellness event.

On Thursday night, Rethink: Psychiatric Illness hosted a short lecture series to discuss the role everyone has in the mental well-being of their own communities.

This lecture series is the second event of the Emotional WELLness Campaign, a month-long campaign hosted by Rethink to promote the Campaign to Change Direction and its Five Signs of Emotional Suffering platform.

Sloan Taylor, a campaign representative of the WELLness campaign, said they want to change the culture surrounding mental health on campus by addressing mental health in the communities around us.

“Our goal is to find the common language for mental health,” Taylor said. “We are trying to emphasize that mental health is important to everyone. It’s just as important as physical health.”

Carter Chambliss, another campaign representative, said mental health problems are something that every individual will face.

“We also want to push the fact that mental health affects everybody which is why it’s called, you know, the 'WE' lecture series,” Chambliss said. “Because it’s an emphasis on everyone, not just certain people.”

Tara Bohley, a presenter who works for the School of Social Work, said most people who experienced mental health problems would tell their friends instead of going to campus counseling. 

“It’s also okay to say 'I care about you. I like just to listen if you want to talk. I'm just gonna listen, I'm not gonna judge'.” Bohley said. 

Lb Klein, a graduate student in the School of Social Work, addressed the mental health problems within LGBTQ communities. She told the audience that there’s no direct correlation between gender identity and mental health problems. 

“It’s not just about identity,” Klein said. “Just because someone has an identity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, asexual, inter-sexed, it doesn’t automatically go straight from you have that status to you have negative mental health outcomes.”

Alex Griffin, a senior, said he thought the event was really well done. 

“The speakers provided very specific perspectives on mental health that I haven’t thought about,” Griffin said.

Taylor hopes that by addressing mental health in the community, people will be more willing to talk about their mental health issues.

“We expect people to leave here knowing that it’s okay to not be okay," Taylor said. "It’s okay to reach out for help, and it’s also okay to address these problems within your friend groups, within your family, within your classes."

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