Rowan PRISM, Active Minds host dual meeting for mental health in the LGBTQ+ community

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Rowan University clubs PRISM and Active Minds held a dual meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 22, to talk about LGBTQ+ mental health advocacy. 

The collaboration came after the devastating mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs over the prior weekend. With that, the two clubs came together to provide resources and statistics about LGBTQ+ mental health advocacy.

“In light of the tragedy of Sunday’s Club Q massacre at Colorado Spring, the LGBTQ+ community across the nation has been shaken to the core in ways words cannot describe,” PRISM’s co-president Joy Acheampong said.

“We are forced to undergo and overcome thousands of traumas, big and small, every day just for our existence, and it is greatly hurting all of us — namely young adults. As allies and members of the community, we must come together and take a stand to protect our queer friends, siblings and neighbors so we can be stronger as one unit,” Acheampong said.

The evening began at Discovery Hall with PRISM discussing generalized mental health, what it means to support someone who struggles with mental health and other ways to help. 

The presentation, created by Acheampong, dove into statistics and barriers regarding mental health in the LGBTQ+ community. Some of the barriers include educational and legal barriers, such as recent national threats to the LGQBTQ+ community regarding Roe v. Wade and the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. 

Key statistics that were highlighted during the presentation include those from The Trevor Project, which stated 75% of LGBTQ youth experienced discrimination for their identities. Another statistic was that 46% of LGBTQ workers experienced harassment in their workplace. Active Minds and PRISM want to dismantle these unfortunate barriers with education and advocate for each other.

“I truly do believe it all starts by learning from one another, being kind to each other when we make mistakes, and creating welcoming spaces that challenge old biases and embrace the beauty of being authentically you,” Acheampong said.

“I think it is important to address all mental health. Yesterday’s meeting was a chance to expand on the topic and collaborate with PRISM to create a more inclusive approach to mental health on campus,” said Rachel Campbell, a senior early childhood education major.

Fortunately for Rowan students, there are multiple resources available on and off campus related to mental health and the LGBTQ+ community. Some of these resources, including the PRISM social media channels, were highlighted in Wednesday morning’s Rowan Daily Mail.

Following the presentation, those in attendance made their way to the Student Center to make DIY stress balls and color fun coloring pages. 

“I do hope that PRISM and Active Minds can collaborate again for more mental health support sessions in the near future so we can share this important message to more students across campus,” Acheampong said.

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