More than 100 members of the Vanderbilt community gathered on Wednesday as part of the university’s GO THERE mental health campaign to hear heartfelt stories of their colleagues’ struggles with—and triumphs over—mental health challenges.
Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos kicked off the afternoon session by welcoming the crowd and thanking the speakers for sharing their experiences.
This can be uncomfortable, even painful, but it also signals a significant change in our campus culture.
“You inspire me, and you affirm the steps we are taking as a campus community to acknowledge and address issues of mental health,” he said. “[rquote]This can be uncomfortable, even painful, but it also signals a significant change in our campus culture.”[/rquote]
The audience listened in rapt silence as 10 people told their stories of how they have been affected by mental health issues, either through personal challenges or with family members. They talked of how a variety of methods, including university resources, counseling, medication, mindfulness, self-care and the support of family and friends helped them.
“We will be a better community through this,” Zeppos said. “More loving, more supportive, healthier. As a community we take this step forward together and care for each other.”
The university’s GO THERE campuswide campaign promotes brave dialogue and honest self-reflection with the intent of creating a campus culture that invests in and supports the mental health and wholeness of every member of the Vanderbilt community. The campaign launched in January 2017 and focuses on providing education around and support for people struggling with mental health challenges.
For more information about the GO THERE campaign and campus resources supporting mental health, visit the GO THERE website.