By RUDO ELLEN KAZEMBE ’20
Among the numerous tables lining Middle Quad to attract students to join, one newly-added organization stood out for their name and motives.
Margaret Lynch ’18, who has personally struggled with mental health illnesses for as long as she can remember, started a University Chapter of To Write Love On Her Arms on campus.
The University Chapter is a branch of the non-profit movement, To Write Love on Her Arms, founded by Jamie Tworkowski who sought out to help his friend who was struggling with “addiction, depression, self-injury, and suicidal thoughts.”
Lynch, the president, operates the club with the idea that “mental health is just as important as physical health.” She had been following the non-profit movement from the time it started on MySpace.
According to Lynch, the main purpose of starting this mental-health advocacy chapter on campus is to create more awareness about mental health issues, reduce stigma surrounding mental health, and to give students a space to network with other students who are struggling with similar issues.
The executive members of the chapter—Lynch, Madelynn Johnson ‘18, Jacqueline Audet’18, Angelica Gallegos ’19 and Noah Vanderhyde ’20—aim to cover a wide range of co-morbidity issues in mental health advocacy, inclusive of but not limited to: suicide awareness, self injury, substance abuse and depression.
Their first event, titled “Open mics and open minds,” will be held on November 16. During this event, members will share their spoken word poetry and a select group of people will submit their stories related to personal struggles with mental health. Staff from counseling services will be present at the event so students will be able to reach out to them for support if something triggers them during any of the performances.
The club members meet on specific, scheduled Wednesdays at 8 p.m. in the Pierson rooms at the Mohr Student Center. Anyone interested in joining or in finding out more information about the club should search for the LFC TWLOHA public group on Facebook.
Rudo Ellen Kazembe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org