The VSU counseling center is hosting three events beginning on Monday in honor of Mental Health Awareness week which began Nov. 11.
Mental Health Awareness week brings attention to issues such as trauma, depression, suicide, substance abuse and anxiety, which is this year’s leading mental health issue, according to The Mental Health Foundation.
Statistics show that one in every four people will experience some kind of mental health issue in the course of a year, whether it is minor or major.
Anxiety is the leading mental health disorder in the US according to The National Institute of Mental Health, with women 60 percent more likely than men to suffer from anxiety issues in their lifetime.
“As the end of the semester approaches, the counseling center wanted to provide the campus with some mental health awareness and information in different capacities as this time of year becomes stressful for students, faculty, and staff,” said VSU counselor Holly Wright.
On Monday, the counseling center welcomed speaker Jordan Burnham in the Student Union theatre at 7 p.m. in which he will discuss his struggle with mental health, how he survived, and his healing process over the years.
Burnham is an advocate for mental health, winning many awards such as The Emerging Humanitarian Award from the Asomugha Foundation in 2012 and has been featured in many major newspapers across the country for his dedication to mental health awareness.
His presentation will discuss the major mental health issues along with men and mental health, athletes and mental health, stigma reduction, race and ethnic minorities, and religious and spiritual communities.
The awareness continued on Tuesday when the Campus Activities Board sponsored a game night from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the Student Union meeting room 2.
There also was a free mental health screening held from noon to 2 p.m. on Wednesday in the Student Union meeting room 2. The screening will involve answering a short mental health questionnaire.
There will be a representative available to make appointments for those who wish to participate in counselling on campus and a counsellor at the screening itself in case of an emergency.
“We decided we wanted to bring more awareness to this topic to educate, provide resources, as well as support for our campus community,” Wright said.
Mental Health Awareness week is “a week in which we help raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing issues,” according to the Mental Health Foundation.