“We are in a day and age where we are combatting a mental health stigma and we are losing,” said Student Senate President Udell Holmes. Holmes and his team are trying to raise awareness around the campus about mental illnesses college students are facing.
“We are always here for the students. We try to plan fun events during the semester,” said Holmes. “There are many resources on campus, we just need to raise more awareness so that the people that need it can actually use it for their benefit. We want to encourage people to be able to seek help. You should feel comfortable in confiding to a friend, family member or even a therapist. We want you to find strength so you can be able to do those things. You can not deal with everything by yourself.”
A safe place to talk
Jessica Terry, who is part of the student senate is also a University Partnership Representative. “We want to address suicide and depression,” Terry stated. “We have meetings every second and fourth Wednesday of the month and students are allowed to attend those meetings. We want them to know that this is a safe place where you can come and talk to us about whatever is on your mind. We all have faced moments when we have been overwhelmed to a point where we can not handle it.”
Current LCCC student Alize Payne understands how it feels to be stressed out at school. “In high school I never learned the right studying skills so when I transitioned to college I had a terrible habit of not studying and I struggled at the beginning. I felt like they didn’t prepare me for the real world,” she exclaimed. “I stress out in college when I overexert myself by adding so many courses to my schedule.” To help ease the stress, Payne “usually vents” so she can get those thoughts off her mind.
Fighting stigma everyday
Project Coordinator for LCCC care center Charlene Dellipoala helps hundreds of students each semester with their problems. “Each person is an individual. You never see the same problem. There are so many different issues students face. I listen with an open heart. Everyday we fight the stigma and everyday we fight a good fight. The goal is to be a helping hand and try to find them the best resources to solve or reduce the problem,” Dellipoala said. One of her proudest stories involves a student who went directly to her. “I had a student who was a heroin addict who at the same time was facing eviction. I was able to get them referred to a treatment center. The student came back clean and sober and is now registered into classes once again.”
LCCC is one of the only community colleges in the state of Ohio that have a collegiate recovery program and a dedicated space for the program with a full time counselor. If you need to talk to the student senate, they are located at room CC 203. You may also go to the Arc Center in the library where they can help you with financial problems, food, clothing, etc. You can make appointments with the care center but they also accept walk-ins.