Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. spreads mental health awareness

For some, anxiety is a never-ending feeling, which can be hard to control. This feeling makes it hard to live.

That is exactly how many students who struggle with a mental health disorder feel according to third communication student Airin Wadley-Wright.

“I was diagnosed with anxiety and PTSD this past summer,” Wadley–Wright said.

“I never felt comfortable talking about mental health until my mom encouraged me.”

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. hosted a mental health awareness event, Protect Your Mind, on Thursday Nov. 9.

The members of the sorority who hosted the event spoke on taboo topics such as anxiety, depression and suicide, discussing how the three go hand in hand.

When anxiety is diagnosed, depression comes soon after and in most serious cases suicidal thoughts appear.

The organization wanted to spread mental health awareness to college students so more students can open up about their struggles that can lead to more conversations about mental health on and off campus.

The talk about mental health turned into a deep-emotional conversation between those who attended that led them to speak about their personal struggles with mental health and what triggered them to develop a mental health disorder.

“Family problems gave me depression and anxiety and they take a lot out of me because I’m typically a fairly happy person,” said Danielle Bailey, a third year music industry studies student.

Like Bailey, many who attended felt that family issues triggered anxiety or depression because their family’s approval meant everything to them.

Some students spoke about how their family’s disapproval of their sexual orientation led to threats of disownment from their families.

Also, seeing other family members go through a dark time created a sense of pressure to take responsibility for their family’s actions and make the situation better.

Yet, all of those triggers have a common denominator, stress.

In the event’s presentation, Wadley-Wright shared that eighty five percent of students report being stressed.

Unfortunately, many students don’t know how to overcome the stress in healthy ways.

When stress is not properly addressed, anxiety can develop adding to the alarming 41.6 percent college students who have already been diagnosed with anxiety.

Wadley-Wright expressed how having a mental breakdown is normal and that this topic should be spoken about more frequently.

When students don’t openly talk about their mental breakdowns, also known as nervous breakdowns, they often bottle up their emotions.

The bottled up feelings create a constant battle within the person’s mind, which may lead to thoughts of suicide.

During the event, some students mentioned that warning signs are not always visible.

“It makes you stop and be cautious with anyone you come in encounter with because you don’t know what they are dealing with,” said Kyerra Green, a third year speech communication student.

The key advice from the event was to find a hobby or activity to reduce the stress, panic or anxiety attacks and patterns of depression.

Whether it is listening to music, cleaning, going out for walks, being surrounded by other people, doing your makeup or even smelling lavender, finding a way to relax and cope with anxiety, depression or dark thoughts will help save your or someone else’s life.

The heavy conversation ended with tips to help those in need to talk about their issues and those with suicidal thoughts.

Counseling services are available on campus in Building 66, room 116 or at the Wellness Center in Building 46.

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