Students explore mental health opportunities

By Marina Gutierrez

As mental illness becomes more common, days like World Mental Health Day are commemorated in an effort to bring awareness to the importance of self-care.

The Associated Student Union and faculty held an on-campus event on Wednesday to help students take a mental break from studying. 

Booths filled the quad and acted as stops for the scavenger hunt. Students were given a paper to take to each booth in order to get a stamp. 

Students who got all the booths’ stamps were rewarded with a free meal.   

During this event, students complete four different calming activities: coloring, DIY slime making, bookmark creating, and rock painting.

Calming and grounding activities have been scientifically proven to help with stress and anxiety. 

The overall positive mood and atmosphere of those participating spoke volumes of the activity’s benefits.

Being handed out at one of the booths are, Screening and Treatment for Anxiety and Depression information cards. 

Screening and Treatment for Anxiety and Depression was first developed under the UCLA Depression Grand Challenge. STAND has a direct partnership with ELAC and its mission is to offer free mental health services to students. 

The program is a confidential support program where counseling and support groups and workshops are offered as well as rewards for participating in mental health surveys.

Brianna Bustamante has a history of working in her community for health services, and is a current student employee for STAND She has a passion for public health.

Kaya Villa previously attended workshops as a student, then became an employee herself because she genuinely believes in their mission. 

 “Not only does our direct program help students, but we can also inform students on further counseling options that may be a better fit for them. 

“Even if our department can’t help your specific needs, we know someone who can.

“I have physically witnessed our workshops and programs transform the moods of multiple students, I know our program is making a difference,” Villa said.

Mental health is an ongoing issue, especially among college students, which is why it is important to be aware of your the school’s resources. 

This event informed students of the many types  of support they can find on campus. 

For inquiries about services contact the Student Health Center at (323) 265-8651. East Los Angeles College encourages all students to utilize the information and resources given to them.

If you or someone you know is severely struggling with their mental health, dial 988 for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

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