By Avani Papadopoulos
If you aren’t familiar with Bring Change to Mind, it is a national student-led club and national organization whose purpose is to spread awareness of mental illness, reduce the stigma surrounding it, and ignite discussion of how to maintain good mental health. This week, the BC2M club at University is holding a whole week filled with activities that will help raise awareness for various topics. Next week, we will also be fundraising for BC2M. Each day of the week will have a theme to support as listed below:
Tuesday: LGBTQIA+ youth are particularly at risk for mental health disorders because they face many adversities, including bullying, difficulty coming out to friends and family members, hate crimes, lack of support, and fear of stigma and discrimination. LGBTQIA+ teens are six times more likely to experience symptoms of depression than their heterosexual, cisgender counterparts, and are also four times more likely to attempt suicide, have suicidal ideations, or self-harm than straight youth. On Tuesday, BC2M will make a collage of statistics about mental health in the LGBTQIA+ community paired with students’ personal LGBTQIA+ heroes and why.
Wednesday: When things feel uncertain or when we don’t feel safe, it’s normal to feel stressed. However, there are ways to manage that stress, and now more than ever, it is important to maintain good mental health! On Wednesday, BC2M will be hosting a meeting with relaxing coloring sheets and headspace meditation to focus on self-care and how covid has impacted mental health.
Thursday: Most of us have experienced feelings of doubt and unworthiness at some point in our lives. But when your accomplishments don’t feel like enough, you’re probably suffering from negative self-talk and impostor syndrome. Impostor syndrome is fairly common; researchers believe that up to 70% of people have suffered from it at one point or another. On Thursday, BC2M will be sending out positive affirmation zoom backgrounds to combat negative self talk and imposter syndrome.
Friday: Systemic oppression and race-related trauma directly harm BIPOC mental health. Psychological impacts of this trauma can include negative thoughts and mood, difficulty sleeping and concentrating, and feelings of confusion, shame, and self-blame. People of Color are 10% more likely than White people to report serious psychological distress, and Black people are 20% more likely. On Friday, BC2M will be sending out resources on how to be an ally for BIPOC and we will also host a Kahoot afterwards.
Next week: BC2M HS’s evidence-based program was started in 2015 and has since grown to 320 high schools with over 10,000 active members. Currently, there is a waitlist of over 180 high schools requesting BC2M’s club model at their school. With your support, we can bring BC2M to more communities so they can also benefit from the club. Next week, BC2M will be fundraising to give other schools the opportunity to host their own BC2M club too!
BC2M week aims to encourage our school to explore these intersections and be educated about these topics. To help with preparation for the week, make sure to sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70a0d4faea728a0fd0-bc2m