Challenging The Stigma


There is a social stigma in place when it comes to talking about mental health or mental illness. Many see it as too risqué or taboo to even bring it up. Our Student Leadership team wants to be a positive force for change when it comes to breaking down those social restrictions.

Fourteen of our Student Leaders recently took part in a virtual mental health discussion. They want you to hear their stories and know that you have support amongst your peers.

What shows/movies/books/activities do you turn to in order to destress?

“I like watching nostalgic cartoons like Arthur and occasionally some anime.” – Danae Fouts, Executive Assistant 

“Classic Disney movies, deep Stretches, and getting outside!” – Kaydence Strait, Event Planner

“I go outside, watch 911-Lone Star with my boyfriend (dramatic, yes, but definitely intriguing), and take time for self-care (face masks, long showers, taking time to eat, etc).” – Hannah Briggs, President 

“Any kind of apocalyptic movie or show, especially anything with zombies. I love to read anything fictional to destress.” – Dylan Marchese, Vice President 

What mental health content would you recommend to other people?

“THERAPY or there is a huge self-care side of TikTok that I love.” – Amanda Mendell, Program Assistant 

“I don’t really know of much content but I recommend that they ensure to take time to themselves daily.” – Miranda Mullin, Finance Director 

“Honestly self-care. You can’t go wrong with it. If you do one thing for yourself every day, after a long week you still have 7 things you can think of that you did nice to yourself which is so good!” – Angie Geno, Legislative Affairs 

“Reading books about self-care and issues such as stress. One I enjoyed was, “Don’t sweat the small stuff… and it’s all small stuff” by Richard Carlson.” – Jolene Vallejo, Rocky Roadrunner 

What are you afraid of that contributes to your stress?

“Failing, despite all of my work and effort.” – Morgan Sylvia, Clubs and Engagement Director 

“School grades being low, not finding a job after graduating and being deported back to Lebanon due to my lack of a Job post-graduation.” – Wael ElJamal, Event Planner

“Overload of responsibilities.” – Mayra Zavala, Executive Assistant 

“Failure, Not being Good Enough, Letting others down.” – Will Shields, Campus Outreach Coordinator 

What does mental health mean to you?

Jolene Vallejo, Rocky Roadrunner – “It is Pivotal. Ultimately mental health stimulates your actions and affects your overall happiness so it is crucial to take care of ourselves.” – Jolene Vallejo, Rocky Roadrunner 

“Mental health means being okay with yourself, even if your circumstances are unpleasant.”

 – Danae Fouts, Executive Assistant

“Self-care.” – Krista Fortenberry, Volunteer Coordinator 

“Mentally Healthy means being emotionally, cognitively, and physiologically well. Mental Health is just whatever mental state we’re in (good or bad).” – Hannah Briggs, President 

Talk us through a time you failed and how you rebounded from that.

“When I ran track in high school as a freshman, I was at practice and we had a race between all the sprinters. I came in fourth and I was really disappointed. I worked really hard and during all of my meets, I got first and lettered in track. It was all about pushing my limits, working hard, and listening to my coach, but most importantly, not thinking that I will never be fast enough because I didn’t win.” – Dylan Marchese, Vice President

“So this isn’t necessarily a fail safe, but it had a huge impact on me and set me back for a while. When COVID started my boyfriend and I were fired from our jobs, we had just moved into a bigger, more expensive place and had zero income now. I was so beyond stressed and it set me into a pretty bad depression where all I could do is sleep and when I was awake I would drink most days to try and keep the depression away. It took all summer but I finally kicked myself into gear and registered for classes. Going back to school has hugely impacted me and helped me out of my depression (mostly), especially being part of the SLC. I found that keeping myself busy is key to keeping out of my depression.” – Miranda Mullin, Finance Director

“I dealt with some toxic people for 6 years. Talk about a fail! I did everything I could to please these people. Not acting like myself, being ashamed of my culture, history, and opportunities. It was a horrible time, and I finally discovered that I didn’t want to be in their shadows anymore. I’ve worked hard to become more confident, take steps to achieve achievable goals, and build a strong foundation with good people in my life! It’s taken several years, but I couldn’t be happier where I am at in my life!” – Angie Geno, Legislative Affairs

“I procrastinated majorly all through high school, and it always left me in a terrible state of stress by the end of the semester. Once I realized how close I was to failing all my classes, I’d have a mini-breakdown and confess to parents yet again how behind I was. Instead of scolding me as they probably should, they prayed for me and stressed themselves out on my behalf. Every night I could count on them hugging and reassuring me I could do it, and even if I could, it was still fine. My teachers were also great whenever I finally reached out, offering me advice, resources, and encouragement. I’m ever grateful to all of them.” – Danae Fouts, Executive Assistant

What advice/thoughts/statements do you have for your peers here at LBCC when it comes to Mental Health?

“Never be afraid to ask for help, with anything! Be it your schoolwork, home life, food security, or even just general indecision. The best thing that I have learned to do is talk to others about my issues. This gives me unparalleled insight into how others cope or deal with things, and best of all it gets the issue out of my head and off of my chest. Just take life one day at a time!” – Will Shields, Campus Outreach Coordinator 

“I cannot stress enough how important it is to take care of yourself mentally. Even if it is for 10 minutes a day, take that time to do something for yourself. It makes a huge difference in stress and happiness.” – Miranda Mullin, Finance Director

“Take the time to evaluate how you really feel and don’t pretend to feel something you don’t. It’s okay to be sad or angry, but don’t hide those feelings and push them back. At the same time, when you feel happy, remember what’s making you feel that way so when you start to feel sad or upset you can try using what makes you happy to be less sad or upset.” – Dylan Marchese, Vice President

“It’s so easy to get overwhelmed by our mental health (trust me, I know). Please, please, please do not be afraid to reach out for help! If you want to talk to someone, people are here to listen. If you need help with something, people are here to support you. If you need resources, we can hook you up with some. Mental health has a really negative stigma, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with talking to someone about it! Take time for yourself, get some sunshine, watch your favorite movie, bake some banana bread, or do anything else that brings you joy. Your mental health is super important and LBCC is here to help you with it!”

 – Hannah Briggs, President

The SLC team wants to help normalize talking about mental health. We all face challenges in life, especially as college students. Knowing you have support from those around you who’ve experienced similar issues is one step towards coping and overcoming.

We have resources here at LBCC that are open for you, including 24-hour counseling support. If you need someone to talk to, know you have that here at LBCC. To echo the voice of the Student Leaders, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for support.

Join the SLC and the rest of the student body on Thursday, May 13, 2021, for Darryl Bellamy JR’s discussion on mental health wellness and conquering fears in life.

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