Five signs of emotional distress discussed at mental health panel
Cleveland Daily Banner - 3/5/2017
Lee University's Five for All team kept the conversation on mental health going with a peer and expert panel Thursday night.
The Five for All campaign was created by the university's Bateman team to help engage the local community in a conversation about the five signs of emotional distress - personality change, being agitated, withdrawal, poor self-care and hopelessness.
Lee student Timothy Washington joined Steve Knapp, a staff counselor at the university's counseling center, and Danielle Minehart, a marriage and family therapist intern, to discuss the five signs that can be seen in students as well as those outside of the university setting.
"I noticed a snowball effect in my priorities and was starting to slip," Washington said.
Minehart added that she sees students suffering from emotional distress daily, but that it wasn't just limited to them.
"It affects people from all walks of life; no one is exempt from it," she commented.
According to Knapp, our western culture doesn't necessarily have a good way of dealing with emotions.
"We have very little framework on how to deal with the stress of emotions or adversity in general," the counselor said.
Tips for helping those exhibiting the five signs were discussed, with the panelists all echoing the same sentiment. They said there is no need to "preach" at the person, but you shouldn't be afraid to go to them with genuine concern or compassion.
During the Q&A section of the evening, a student asked if the tendency to use mental health terms, often incorrectly, was having a negative impact on mental health awareness.
"We throw around mental health terms like candy," Minehart answered. "It's a millennial problem, because we love labels. The lines get blurry though, when we throw those terms around."
Ultimately, the overlying theme of the evening was that mental health topics must be discussed and normalized within the community.
"The more we talk about it, the more awareness there will be," Minehart declared.
On Tuesday, the Five for All team will host another mental health panel, this time with the focus being on senior adults. The panel will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Centenary Room at the Higginbotham Administration Building. Lunch will be provided, but you must RSVP. For more information or to RSVP for the event, contact the Five for All team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Five for All campaign is active on social media, and you can connect with them on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/FiveforAllTN, on Twitter, https://twitter.com/FiveforAllTN, and on Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/fiveforalltn.