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Mental-health roundtable held to address stigmas students face

Panelists address students during a round table set up for Mental Health Matters Week. Credit: Ian Doherty | Lantern Reporter

As a part of “Mental Health Matters Week,” a roundtable discussion was held on Wednesday evening that aimed to destigmatize mental health and equip students with ways to address it in their daily lives.

“We wanted to create a more intimate environment and conversation about mental health,” said Zach Weber, a third-year in molecular genetics and the host of the discussion.

The roundtable was focused on opening up a dialogue about mental health and the steps that should be taken to properly address someone in need.

Kipp Pietrantonio, a counselor with Ohio State’s Counseling and Consultation Service, said academic issues and hectic schedules can impact college-aged students especially. Pietrantonio singled out the damage that receiving a bad grade on an exam can have on one’s self-image.

“Anxiety and depression aren’t as important as the college life,” Pietrantonio said. “We have to figure out how to bounce back after receiving a bad grade and reframe our self-image.”

Pietrantonio encouraged attendees to reach out to their friends and classmates if they are having a difficult time with a class or an exam. He also said it was important to get onto the same emotional level as the person who is struggling, as this can help even the playing field.

“You have to open up to people when you’re struggling,” Pietrantonio said. “You have to be willing to go to that place.”

Ryan Patel, a psychiatrist at CCS, said that while treatment for everybody varies, someone who has sought help before will generally have more tools to address issues the next time they arise.

“It’s important to get some tools around you, so you can better manage stress,” Patel said.

James Larcus, a wellness coach at the Student Wellness Center, noted challenges that his office faces when dealing with mental health.

“How do we build capacities for people to navigate life knowing that those stresses are going to happen again?” Larcus said.

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