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RUOK? Day to bring suicide-prevention services to minority groups on campus

The Buckeye Campaign Against Suicide is set to host its annual RUOK? Day at the Performance Hall in the Ohio Union on Thursday to advertise community resources for mental-health awareness and suicide prevention, both on and off campus.

This year, the event will have a special focus on the mental-health issues among minorities, especially international students, said Karishma Patel, president of BCAS and a fourth-year in neuroscience.

“We are trying to educate people on how mental health is portrayed in different cultures, which was not done last year, ” Patel said.

A study conducted by National Alliance on Mental Health showed racial minority groups in the U.S. are especially vulnerable to mental illness but have significantly less access to mental-health services. BCAS aims to help reduce that mental-health services gap that minorities face by collaborating with the Office of International Affairs and the Office of Student Life Counseling and Consultation Service to offer therapy in multiple languages, Patel said.

“We want to say that just because you are not fluent in English, doesn’t mean that you can’t get help on campus,” Patel said. “We don’t want them to feel left out for the resources people are already utilizing on campus.”

RUOK? Day will feature activities during the event to educate students about how to deal with mental-illness stigmas within their cultural backgrounds.

The event also aims to call attention to signs of depression individuals can exhibit, including withdrawing from social contact and brushing off symptoms.

Maria Lammy, the staff adviser for BCAS and a graduate student in counselor education, encouraged minority students on campus to get involved in students organizations that offer training and education regarding mental illness prevention.

“We really want international students to get involved with it,” Lammy said. “I really encourage international student organizations to consider doing events that include mental wellness, so that they can support people in their communities.”

RUOK? Day is set to be held from 3 to 7 p.m. at Ohio Union.

 

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