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Mental Health at Kettering University

Share your story and/or reflections on college mental health: experiences, services, trends, concerns, myths, and more.

Mental Health at Kettering University

Postby mhiszem » Dec 05, 2007 9:18 pm

Hello, my name is Mark Hiszem and I am a junior at Kettering University in Flint, Michigan. My school has approximately 3,000 students split between two sections. It is basically an all engineering school. We Co-Op for three months and then go to school for 3 months, we do this all year round with a couple breaks between quarters. As you can imagine going to school is draining and relationships can be very difficult to maintain being so busy with school. Our school is notorious for being very difficult and stressful, I think that we need a better support system to deal with mental health issues do to hardships that we may come across. I came across your website when I was listening to NPR on my way back from school. I really support what your guys are doing and would like to try to help my campus become better at dealing with mental health issues. Recently we had a student commit suicide do to depression and some other issues he had going on. We have a Wellness Center on campus but it is not fully staffed and would not be able to support a large number of students after a tragedy such as this. I think that we need to develop a better system and a better plan so if something like this happens again we will be ready. I think a big part of the problem is that students do not feel comfortable going to the Wellness Center so they just do not seek help. If you could be of any help of what I can do that would be great.
mhiszem
 
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Joined: Dec 05, 2007 9:11 pm

Postby mental_meanderings_2 » Dec 07, 2007 2:36 pm

Hey Mark,
My name is Montana, and I am an Icarus organizer at NYU. Your concerns are very much related to what I and other organizers at NYU have been working to address. We too feel that there are some serious limitations to the mental health support system that presently exists on campus, and as you may or may not know, we too have witnessed a number of tragic suicides on our own campus. In an effort to create alternatives to the Wellness Center, we have been organizing a variety of events in which mental health issues are re-opened for discussion. I say re-opened because I think there is a sense that the ‘facts’ of mental illness have already been established and corroborated by scientific empiricism and that any dissenting views are either misguided or a bunch of hocus-pocus. For us, it is important to bring to the surface those very valid perspectives that have been muted by scientific authoritarianism. Our hope is that through sharing these ideas we can cultivate a sense of solidarity--a community committed to mutual respect and diversity.
To give you some sense of the kinds of events we’ve been holding and are planning for the future, I can share with you some of our most recent activities. In addition to holding pot-luck event-planning meetings once every one-to-two weeks, we have had more publicized events with guest lecturers, movies, and arts and crafts skill-shares. Emily Martin, our last guest lecturer, is a highly esteemed socio-cultural anthropologist at NYU; she did a reading from her book Bipolar Expeditions: Mania and Depression in American Culture in which she contextualizes this clinical phenomenon (bipolar disorder) both historically and culturally. A few days ago we had a movie screening of Thumbsucker followed by a group discussion. Basically, we’ve been holding events with more academic leanings (rather than peer counseling) because we know from past experience that NYU has reservations about our having anything with a more “therapeutic” focus. We think this is a good method for gaining presence on campus and for engendering important dialogue.
If you’re considering organizing on your own campus, you can take a look at Friends Make the Best Medicine: A Guide to Creating A Guide to Creating Community Mental Health Support Networks in the “Resources” tab of TIP website. Also, the two interns I am currently supervising are working on a campus version of this guide which part of should become available in the next few weeks. I will certainly keep you updated if you are interested. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any thoughts or questions. This is new for me too.
Take care,
Montana
mental_meanderings_2
 
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Speakers

Postby mhiszem » Dec 07, 2007 3:20 pm

Hello, I am looking at getting a speaker to come to my campus and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions. I think it will get the best publicity and hopefully a large amount of people. Who have other campuses had as speakers in the past?
mhiszem
 
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Joined: Dec 05, 2007 9:11 pm

Postby mental_meanderings_2 » Dec 08, 2007 4:47 pm

well i think who you ask to speak is contingent upon your goals. for instance, are there professors at your school who might have different perspectives concerning the way mental health is conceived of and how it should be approached on campus. it might be cool to get a few professors with very different ideas on the subject to hold a conversation panel. alternatively, you could go to websites like mindfreedom to see where they're holding events and if one happens to be occurring close-by you could ask whether someone would be willing to speak. another approach you could take would include posting a new topic in the discussion forum in an effort to find others with similar goals in your immediate vicinity. if you network a little with those around you, you may stumble upon a pot of gold. all of this requires a bit of research, but it's work well worth your while. i hope this was somewhat helpful...
best, m.
mental_meanderings_2
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Sep 03, 2007 12:31 am

checking-in

Postby mental_meanderings_2 » Dec 17, 2007 12:43 pm

hi mark,
just wondering whether there were any plans in the works...keep us posted--we're here to help!
all my best,
m.
mental_meanderings_2
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Sep 03, 2007 12:31 am


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