Photos provided by Students Who Care
IUPUI’s organization Students Who Care hosted their first event of the spring semester on Feb. 2, Mental Health and Mochas. It was a coffee house event where college students could share their struggles with mental health in a safe environment.
They offered Starbucks coffee and Long’s donuts that were gone before the start of the program.
Over 50 people gathered in the basement of IUPUI’s Campus Center to share stories and talents. There was a celebration of lives and new days after struggles. They offered Starbucks coffee and Long’s donuts that were gone before the start of the program.
IUPUI student, Danielle McNary opened the show with a speech on her battle with an eating disorder and how she is still working towards recovery.
Now, she can leave her home and eat meals without fearing the calories or the weight. She can try on clothes without crying in a store.
“Healing is a process, not a destination,” McNary said.
A variety of topics were covered at this event. People talked about depression, anxiety, rape culture, and attempted suicide in a variety of ways. People shared their experiences through the darkest and lightest parts of their lives.
Art was shown, poetry was read, and people showcased their musical talents.
A lot of sensitive material was brought to light at this event. All of the performers content was screened beforehand to ensure everyone’s safety.
Sharing stories instilled confidence in the performers, which was one of the goals of the event. Tragedies were shared as well as inspiration to get through and letting others know that they are not alone in their struggles.
“As far as getting people’s attention, a lot of people are showing interest and getting engaged,” Samantha Brinkman, event organizer and Students Who Care president said. “We’re really making a good impact and opening up conversation.”
Students Who Care aims to end the stigma on mental health and make it a conversational topic.
When asked what the best part of the event was, Brinkman said, “There were a lot more people than we anticipated, which is a great problem to have.” But when asked what could have gone better, Brinkman laughed, “Just have more donuts, honestly.”
Students Who Care is planning to launch their new promotional event called Place a Pin.
They plan to table around campus and give out pins with ribbons of different colors. Each color will represent a different mental illness and will come with a card explaining more about the illness. It will have coping mechanism, a description, and other resources on the card.
Members are also preparing for their biggest event of the year, Walk for Love. This event will take place in June.
“Walk for Love is a walk to bring awareness and an end to the negative stigma related to mental health issues," Leah Flory, a Students Who Care member and IUPUI student said. “Students Who Care raises money to give to local mental health organizations.”
Brinkman says, “You definitely haven’t seen the last of Students Who Care.”