Written by Charli Turner // Graphic by Wagner Valdez
Alpha Pi Chi, Harding’s counseling honor society, hosted a mental health panel on Tuesday, Nov. 1, called “Mind Your Gaps,” in the auditorium of the Anthony and Wright Administration Building.
Students were encouraged to send in questions ahead of time for mental health professionals to weigh in on and advise. The panelists were Department of Mental Health and Wellness Chair Todd Patten, Loren Beason, Dr. Adrian Hickmon and Hannah McMullen.
“I love the idea of creating a space where students can ask questions about mental health that they may not have previously felt comfortable doing,” Alpha Pi Chi president Madeline Roseke said. “It also allows for further education on campus of the various forms that mental health can take and the variety of counseling techniques that are out there.”
Roseke’s role as president of Alpha Pi Chi allows her to connect the Harding community to further mental health education through events and seminars such as Tuesday’s panel.
“Normalizing talking about mental health can then create spaces for individuals to receive the help that they need and work through challenges they may have felt were too daunting before,” Roseke said.
Senior Student Association (SA) president Megan Sledge also weighed in on the importance of mental health.
“Therapy services and mentors in my life have strengthened my mental health,” Sledge said. “I would not be where I am today without this intervention. It is so important to pinpoint a decline in mental health when it is happening and intervene when needed. The SA supports this event because we highly value mental health and how that impacts students, faculty and staff here at Harding. This topic is difficult to discuss at times, but crucial to our growth and development.”
Sledge also mentioned that the SA encourages students and faculty to take part in events such as the “Mind Your Gaps” panel as everyone continues to navigate the world post-COVID-19.
For some, such as graduate student Kendall Force, educating the Harding community on the realities of mental health is also about helping people understand how to meet someone where they are.
“Being educated in this has given me a deeper empathy and understanding for people and where they are coming from,” Force said. “I don’t think people understand how crippling it can be, and I wish that was more well known.”