Hope Russo; Assistant Features Editor
On March 31, the ETA pledge class of Kappa Delta Phi NAS hosted a virtual, philanthropic event centered around mental health awareness and suicide prevention.
This event provided an opportunity for the sisters of KDP to plan and execute awareness on a topic that many are passionate about. The majority of the attendees were other sorority members showing support for their fellow pledges, which even included some alumni members.
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While college students have long been prone to mental health struggles such as anxiety, depression and increased stress, the stigma around these topics is decreasing. More college campuses and people, in general, are beginning to open up and bring awareness to the importance of conversations on mental health.
According to an article released in January 2021 by ScienceNews, about 85 percent of college students have experienced moderate to severe levels of distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Women, in particular, make up one category of students who were reported to have the highest levels of distress.
Common feelings that students are grappling with due to the pandemic are lack of motivation, difficulty concentrating, procrastination and general anxiety.
Victoria Brown, KDP affiliate and psychology major, is specifically passionate about this topic, along with her other two pledge sisters who are child life psychology majors who understand the detrimental effects mental health can have on an individual.
“Especially in COVID times where mental health is at an all-time low, we thought it would be great to reiterate some self-care activities and resources that are offered both on and off-campus,” Brown said. “Keeping the mental health conversation going can only benefit both students and staff at UC.”
Other Greek life organizations at UC, such as the Alpha Phi Delta fraternity, recognize that mental health is just as important as physical health. Aaron Barsham, APD member, stated that the fraternity helps its members in any way it can.
“We’re so closely knit that one person’s problems become something everyone wants to help with and it’s hard to compare it to any other organization,” Barsham said. “Brothers of mine are closer to me in turns of support and understanding of my issues and problems than any other person on or off-campus.”
On-campus, students can turn to the Student Health Center where counseling services are available with licensed mental health professionals.
Other self-care recommendations, that can be done on and off-campus, include maintaining positive relationships and taking care of your body. It is important during these times of social distancing or isolation to make sure that we are continuing to nurture relationships with friends and family. Part of keeping a healthy mind is also keeping a healthy body.
Try to choose healthier options in the dining hall or grocery store, get outside while the sun is out as often as you can and listen to your body when it tells you to take a break. As much as we love social media, this can be draining on our mental health. Try taking a social media break for a day and have a self-care day.
Joining clubs, organizations or greek life can also be great opportunities for gaining support or maintaining relationships on campus.
“Greek life is absolutely a safe space for someone to turn to if they are struggling,” Brown said. “The bonds you form are unmatched and are a great way to make friends. Sometimes all a person struggling needs is a friend.”