STATE of Mind

This group plans to observe, investigate, and improve the atmosphere surrounding mental health on campus. We plan to do this by conducting interviews, researching, and hearing stories from people who have experienced some sort of mental illness. It is our goal to find and correct the flaws associated with CAPS– Penn State’s mental healthcare service. I, along with Olivia Daffan, will work to find ways to establish an accepting and stigma-free environment here at Penn State.

I plan to present the idea of establishing a story-telling event in which students, faculty, and staff would have the opportunity of telling the story of their experiences with mental illness. Story-telling has an extremely impactful effect not only on the audience but also the speaker. I think this event is very plausible, considering that a few of my peers and I are in the works of establishing a story-telling club. In addition, not only would this event make lasting effects on those who attend but it will also bring much-needed attention to this issue.

Kiki plans to present the idea of holding a mandatory seminar for first-year students, which discusses mental health to a greater extent. This would provide students with a better understanding of the effects of certain mental disorders, help them understand how to balance a college workload, and give them tools to handle and deal with stress. While many first years are required to enroll in a seminar, it does not put much focus on mental health and Schreyer Scholars are not required to enroll in such seminars. That is not a joke…

The students with arguably the largest workload are not required to attend a seminar which would aid them in their transition to college.

As of right now, Kiki and I are researching certain methods that other colleges and communities have used to create a more accepting environment and stigma-free atmosphere.

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