In the past two years, an awareness of mental health has made leaps and bounds in different parts of the country. From celebrities and professional athletes coming forward with their own personal battles, to local citizens or organizations creating safe spaces to openly speak about one’s problems mentally.
An organization in Tallahassee, SheSpeaksSolutions, has taken the initiative to create a space for students and general citizens alike. The non-profit hosted a “World Mental Health Day” Sunday. The event was held at Landis Green on Florida State University’s campus.
Attendees participated in praise and worship led by Marcella Torres. Also, a spoken word was delivered in part with some meditation, yoga and Zumba.
Sophia Bukowick, a third-year student at FSU majoring in social work, said that bringing awareness too mental health to FSU’s student body is vital.
“College is a really difficult time for a lot of people, so destigmatizing mental health especially with our age group is really important,” Bukowick said. “I believe everyone has been affected by mental health issues. I know I have personally, so in this difficult time we need to rely on the resources we have, like this event.”
Melissa Tillery, a graduate student in social work, echoed Bukowick’s observations.
“I’ve always been passionate about mental health advocacy,” Tillery said. “I’m a social leadership student here at FSU, so our program focuses on policy and personal development. I have definitely had my own journey with mental health, so I understand that mental health effects so many things and aspects of our lives. So, if you don’t take care of it, it can negatively affect things like relationships, school work and even your career.”
The brains and muscle behind this event was founder and CEO LiTeena Parks. This was the first “World Mental Health Day” for this organization, with a goal of growing the SheSpeaksSolutions brand to host more events. Mrs. Parks ism an advocate for the organization and promotes “mental health days” for any and everyone.
“Your mental health is the foundation of everything you represent,” Parks said. “So, if you don’t take the time to regroup, reset and identify what keeps you happy and balanced, that’s what causes you to have the succumb to the chaos that we experience every single day.”
“With SheSpeaksSolutions, we have a desire to touch base with every level of transition one goes through in life,” Parks added. “The reality is, with every age and every step into a new stage of life, it’s imperative that you adjust your mental health along with organizations like us giving each individual going through those stages has an outlet for mental health.”