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Destigmatizing mental health

As senior public relations majors prepare to present their capstone projects, a few students have drawn attention to the importance of mental health. 

One group created the capstone Brighter Days for Bradley to shine a light on mental health stigma on Bradley’s campus. This is such an important and impactful project that reinforces the goals of campus organizations like Active Minds. 

Their message to students to advocate for their mental health and not be ashamed to ask for help is powerful, and it couldn’t be coming at a better time in the semester.

After a week full of seemingly endless rainfall and cold temperatures, students may be feeling the effects of seasonal depression. It’s all too easy to suffer from a lack of energy, lose motivation and stop going to class. This project is a timely reminder that it’s okay to ask for help and acknowledge when you’re not okay.

Even as the temperatures rise and spirits lift going into the next week, many students will continue feeling the pressure of looming essays, projects and the fast-approaching finals season. Feeling overwhelmed and stressed is natural and common, but students should not frequently neglect their mental health.

Students should use the available resources to their advantage. Oftentimes, the high demand for on-campus counseling can make it difficult for students to make appointments. For years, people have noted that the Bradley counseling services do not accommodate the student population. 

While the counseling is not meant to provide long-term therapy, making it accessible to more students would go a long way. Students should feel like they have the option to be supported in times of need, not spend weeks or months on a waiting list.

If you notice a decline in your mental health, understand that you are not alone. Understand that it is perfectly okay and encouraged for you to seek help. Pay attention to how you are feeling and get out ahead of it when you can. Communicate with your professors, ask for accommodations and consider exploring off-campus mental health resources as needed.

If Brighter Days for Bradley is teaching us anything, it’s that the journey to destigmatizing mental health is ongoing. The more conversations we have about mental health, the closer we can get to normalizing it for all.

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