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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Placing Stigma Where It Belongs: Into the Conversation

If you had a broken leg, you wouldn’t refrain from going to the doctor because someone might have it worse than you. You wouldn’t ignore your persistent physical cold symptoms, so why would you ignore your mental health? Here’s the problem: you don’t want anyone to think there is something wrong with you, the burden of the stigma associated with mental health weighs heavy on your shoulders. This stigma keeps us busy worrying what others will think of us, instead of worrying about taking care of ourselves. And just like our physical health, our mental well being affects everyone, from every social class, gender, sexual orientation, etc.
As a college student here at CSU Chico, I hear so many of my peers talk about their struggles with managing stress, anxiety, depression, and prioritizing their self-care. One might wonder how we can create a social change, to promote this notion that it is okay to not be okay. Here is what we can to to create this change: we need to normalize the conversation regarding mental health, perpetuate the notion that mental health struggles affect everyone and look different to everyone. Creating a wave of change in which people can openly express their feelings, their struggles, and their self-worth is extremely important to one’s well being. We need to address the fact that stigma keeps us from talking about mental health and seeking help for it, and place stigma where it belongs, into the conversation. 

Listed below are some of the organizations/offices on our campus that you can utilize to actively pursue a healthy mental well-being:

633 Brice Ave., Chico, CA 

Safe Place
633 Brice Ave., Chico, CA

Counseling and Wellness Center
Student Services Center 430

Student Health Center
At the intersection of Legion Ave. and Warner St.

AS Gender and Sexuality Equity Center
Bell Memorial Union 004

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