May is Mental Health Awareness Month — a time to emphasize the importance of mental and emotional wellness, elevate resources of support, and continue to work against the stigma associated with openly discussing mental health.
This past fall the Kappa Delta chapter at Stevens Institute of Technology led the way by hosting a campus-wide event called “Name Your Story: How to Talk Openly About Mental Health.” Funded through the Susan Weiskittle Barrick Endowment for Leadership Enrichment, the chapter invited mental health professional Lauren Cook to their campus to discuss how to recognize, acknowledge, and support those struggling with mental health.
“Many college students are affected by mental health, whether that be their own struggles or the struggles of those around them,” says Lauren Kerwin, Kappa Delta’s Chapter Advisor. “It can be difficult to talk about, but spreading awareness is crucial to optimize the growth and self-empowerment of every one of our members – giving them the tools they need to have the confidence to reach their full potential.”
Cook also facilitated a private session with the Kappa Delta chapter in advance of the keynote, where chapter members had the opportunity to have more personalized and intimate discussions around their experiences with this challenging topic. “Stevens’ individual members have been very fortunate to be the recipient of many benefits of the Foundation’s offerings in times of need, but this one had a farther reach and showcased the power of being associated to a special group like Alpha Phi,” reflects Kerwin.
A special thank you to the organizers of this event at the Kappa Delta chapter, who identified a need and sought out solutions, and to Susan Weiskittle Barrick for making these opportunities for chapter leadership development and wellness possible.