Last updated on December 23, 2020
By Ileana Lozano
For La Voz Unida
With the U.S. presidential election earlier in the month and the results being debated even after the call for President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, anxiety was still high, particularly among the most vulnerable within the Latinx community.
With that in mind and the added stress of midterm exams, the Latinx Student Union hosted an event on Nov. 20, where students learned ways to better manage and cope with stress.
“As a citizen, not knowing the results was stressful on me,” Alyssa Gutierrez, president of the Latinx Student Union, said. “Knowing what could happen to my friends who are under DACA or who don’t have citizenship — that’s even worse. A lot depends on the election.”
Students started with a guided meditation before the discussion on mental health.
Beatrice Acha, the treasurer for the Latinx Student Union, highlighted the importance of the event. Talking about, let alone recognizing mental health within the Latino community is highly stigmatized, she said.
“We felt like it was one of our missions as LSU to bring it to light in the Latinx community. A big thing is resources,” Acha, a junior engineering major, said. “I feel like I was at a disadvantage since I didn’t know about all the resources.”
Acha recommended various mental health resources like the University Health Center, the crisis support line, an interactive self-help app called WellTrack, the journal at Memorial Chapel and the Verilux HappyLight to students who may be struggling.
At the event, students learned about the eight dimensions of wellness, the differences between mental health and mental wellness, inequalities between wellness and stressors that affect mental health on campus.
After that, students played Skribbl.io, a multiplayer drawing guessing game, as a way to bring students together that may feel isolated.
Gutierrez, who won the round of Skribbl.io, said she looks forward to more events geared towards raising mental health awareness in the future.
“I want to continue normalizing these kinds of conversations.” said Gutierrez, a senior psychology major. “I don’t think mental health should be as stigmatized as it is in our community.”
Angie Mejia, the community service chair for the Latinx Student Union, said the organization hopes to host more events that help raise awareness for the Latinx community and a chance to enliven the community with events related to music.
“If one person has a better time on this campus or a better overall experience, we feel like we’ve done our job,” said Mejia, a senior psychology major.