UNLV’s College of Liberal Arts hosted a mental health panel on March 28. The event was coordinated through the Director of Student and Community Engagement, Jenna Heath, and consisted of mental health professionals ranging from UNLV Student Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) to nonprofit organizations.
The event offered food, drinks, and UNLV swag for all the in-person attendees to enjoy.
According to The University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, depression and anxiety are continuously on the rise, however, students are also seeking mental health care now more than ever. These panels offer an opportunity for students to ask their questions to mental health professionals and gain exposure to various mental health resources.
Students came together for the event and began asking questions to the panel. The first question came from a Zoom attendee, “How do you know when it’s time to reach out for help?” Michael Browning, a representative of UNLV CAPS, explained that the two most common reasons for students entering CAPS are difficulty concentrating and disruption of school performance, and these may be warning signs to look out for.
In a broader context, he explained that if you notice yourself not functioning well, it may be time to reach out for help. Renisha O’Donnell who works for Core Mental Health Services, a non-profit organization said that asking the question is enough to say “Yes” to receiving care.
Another interesting conversation arose with the concept of imposter syndrome, and how that might impact a student’s mental health. Michelle Paul, executive director of the Partnership for Research, Assessment, Counseling, Therapy and Innovative Clinical Education program (PRACTICE) said, “As human beings, we all have an anxiety of not fitting in and being rejected.”
Paul continued to explain the importance of caring, not only for the side of yourself but what you show to the rest of the world. She stated that it is important to recognize that we all have this anxiety and that it is important to be kind to your shadow self. “It’s okay to not have it together all the time,” Paul said.
One student raised the question of burnout and how that can be prevented. Paul said, “We are learning more and more about the importance of sleep. Eat, give yourself nutrition. Move around.”
Another professional on the panel, Trinh Dang, mentioned that she took a three-day break away from technology to heal from her burnout.
At the end of the event, the host, Chloe Bombara, announced that there would be a $100 mini-scholarship giveaway to select participants in the event. Two individuals received the mini-scholarships, and afterward, the panel was open to anyone who wanted to ask any pressing questions.
No announcement was made about the continuation of this exact event; but this panel brought together a combination of speakers to uplift the programs that exist not only for UNLV students but also for community mental health that are also available to students. As the panel ended students were encouraged to reach out for help whenever it may be needed, with the overarching message being “You don’t have to do it alone.”