By Myara Gomez
Warning: Some of the topics, such as mental health, recovery, and other areas, could be triggering.
CAPS Peer Educators hosted their annual “Stigmonologues” event on Nov. 3. Held in the education building, the event allowed students to speak about their own mental health journey’s. The goal was “to end stigma” at the College.
There were several cosponsors for the event, including Delta Epsilon Mu, Delight, Orthodox Christian Fellowship, Psi Chi, Indian Student Association, Mathematics and Statistics Club, PRISM, Lambda Theta Phi, Asian American Association, Psychology Club, Pakistani Student Association, Zeta Tau Alpha, Union Latina, Anti-Violence Initiatives (AVI), Omicron Delta Kappa, Collegiate Recovery Community, and Stitches.
Many students spoke about several topics ranging from mental health, recovery and other areas where they relate to.
“I spoke about my journey to sobriety while dealing with mental illness, surviving sexual assault, and childhood trauma,” said senior journalism and professional writing major Olivia Bowman. “I wanted to be able to share my story to give hope and strength to the people in the TCNJ community through my experiences.”
Bowman went on to say that the event held a special place in her heart and there was a great sense of unity in the room. This was her second time speaking at Stigmonologues, but it was her first time in person, as it was virtual last year.
Attendees at the event were engaged with all of the student speakers that volunteered to be at the event.
“I went to have a good time with my friends, spend time with them and support them but after going in, I learned so much more than just having a good time,” said sophomore political science major Adam Rodriguez-Hernandez. “I came out with a better experience in general.”
Rodriguez-Hernandez later went on to say how touching these stories were and how brave these people were to go on in life despite the challenges they were facing.
Counseling and Prevention Services at the College strives to help students with their Mental Health needs and tries to help them along their journey. The goal of the Stigmonologues event was to put the word about ending the stigma that surrounds mental health.
Stigmonologues helped this because it provided a safe space for students to talk about their personal experiences and struggles. The event allowed for other students viewing the event to feel heard and be able to feel comfortable sharing their own story.
This is one of many events that the Counseling and Prevention Services at the College holds, this event specifically is held every year and students are encouraged to sign up and speak at the event if they are interested in sharing their story.
Topics that were mentioned during this event included eating, family/relationships, illness, mental health, substance abuse, recovery and more.
If a student would like more information about Stigmonologues or mental health services with CAPS, they could contact Counseling and Prevention Services (CAPS).