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TTU SGA Working To Reduce Mental Health Stigmas

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
TTU SGA Working To Reduce Mental Health Stigmas

Tennessee Tech’s Student Government Association is doing its part to encourage mental health awareness among students.

With help from the university’s counseling center, student government members created the Mental Health Matters Initiative. Student Body President Aaron Lay said when he entered office, addressing campus mental health was a priority.

“We were just looking at finding ways to start the conversation to kind of combat the statistics surrounding mental health on college campuses,” Lay said. “Also, there is a large stigma that surrounds mental health on campus as well. So, we wanted to highlight a lot of the free resources a lot of students already have access to.”

Lay said so far, the movement has been successful. Lay said the slogan “Mental Health Matters,” has spread across campus with over 600 themed t-shirts given away. Lay said the goal is to get more students to take advantage of counseling services and decrease mental health statistics.

“The American College Health association did a study back in 2019,” Lay said. “(…) 87 percent of college students actually feel overwhelmed by everything they have to do. 66 percent feel overwhelming anxiety. 56 percent feel things are hopeless. Even 13 percent percent of students are college campuses have considered suicide.”

Lay said with today’s climate added to those statistics, his team certainly wanted to take the appropriate measures. Lay said the next event is a campus wide positive body image day on February 22nd.

“We actually had a senator in our SGA come up with this last semester and pushed it through our senate, and we passed it to hold this day to promote positive body image on campus. So, we are excited for that at the end of February,” Lay said. “There will be continued opportunities for students to swing by and get free stuff. We sot some stickers as well that we have developed that students can put on their water bottles and their laptops. Hopefully, just small little things to try and start conversations on campus.”

Lay said the tagline, “Golden Eagles, your mental health matters,” extends of campus, as well. Lay said if you have any college students in your life, reach out and check if they are okay.


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