May is Mental Health Awareness Month, but MTSU is getting an early start with two events aimed at capturing students’ attention before they depart campus at semester’s end.
• MTSU will become the first campus in the country to host the UNTOLD Project’s Campus Diaries exhibit from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, April 11, in the Student Union Building atrium, 1768 MTSU Blvd.
“While working on a spring 2020 internship for the global storytelling project UNTOLD, an MTSU student proposed ‘UNTOLD: the Campus Diaries’ as a mental health awareness campaign within the campus community,” said Cynthia Chafin, director of the MTSU Center for Health and Human Services.
In a “Dear Diary” format, students anonymously express their stories of mental health challenges, adjustments to campus life and hopes for the future. The students post their feelings through an online portal at https://untoldproject.org/campus-diaries-home/.
The resulting exhibit includes four 7-foot-tall towers adorned with actual anonymous essay pages from the web portal along with photography by UNTOLD co-founder Lorna Dancey.
• In a separate event, Dr. Leilani Attilio will present “Let’s Talk! Being Stigma-free in a Stigma-filled World: Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Stigma” at 3 p.m. Thursday, April 14, in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building, 516 Alma Mater Drive.
Attilio, an advanced practice registered nurse, now provides primary care, gender-affirming care and opioid use disorder treatment in Tacoma, Washington. The former U.S. Army nurse will deliver an interactive, conversation-style lecture and answer students’ questions about the stigma around mental health and substance use.
The Attilio event is presented by the CHHS in partnership with the MTSU Department of Health and Human Performance and the Community and Public Health Program and is cosponsored by the MTSU Distinguished Lecture Committee.
Both events are free and open to the public. A campus parking map is available at http://bit.ly/MTSUParking. Off-campus visitors can obtain a one-day permit at https://mtsu.edu/parking/visit.php or park free in the university’s Rutherford Boulevard Lot and ride the Raider Xpress shuttle to the event locations.
The Center for Health and Human Services, founded by the Adams Chair of Excellence in Health Care Services in 1993, collaborates with public agencies, private for- and not-for-profit organizations, and MTSU faculty and students to improve the health and well-being of Tennesseans and that of our nation. From 2001-2015, CHHS in partnership with the Adams Chair, received over $7.5 million in grants and contracts to conduct or facilitate research, communications, education, and training across the spectrum of public health issues of importance to Tennessee and at the national level. As of late 2015, CHHS has operated independently and received an additional $3.5 million in funding to implement projects ranging in duration from several months to more than a decade, with first-time funding from multiple federal agencies and development of multi-state partnerships and collaborations.
For more information, contact Chafin at 615-898-5493 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Gina K. Logue (email@example.com)