Trish McBeath, vice president of Student and External Affairs at Eastern Oklahoma State College, details an upcoming event that highlights mental health awareness.
1 What is purpose of the event?
Eastern will host “Active Mic Night: Mental Health Through Music” featuring Kai Roberts on Monday, Oct. 21 at 6:30 p.m. in the Tourtellotte Student Center in Wilburton. The event is free and open to the public.
2 Why is the event important?
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 47.6 million U.S. adults experienced mental illness in 2018. This represents one in five adults. In addition, 39 percent of students in college experience a significant mental health issue.
We all know someone who is touched by mental health conditions. Our goal is to encourage students and members of the community to have open, honest conversations about mental health so we can correct misconceptions and erase the stigma surrounding these issues. It’s important that our students and young adults know there are resources available and they are not alone.
3 Who is helping put on the event?
Active Minds, a national, nonprofit organization that supports mental health awareness and education for young adults, is partnering with Eastern to host the event. McBeath said Roberts is a spirited performer and speaker with a passion for uplifting his audience. He will share the story of his battle with anxiety and panic disorder through interactive dialogue and hip-hop music.
4 Who will be speaking at the event?
Kai Roberts experienced chronic mental health issues as an undergraduate student at Carnegie Mellon University. He began his healing process through music, translating his thoughts and frustrations into poetry and lyrics. His resulting album “Carnegie Café” has become a resource for students and others dealing with mental health disorders and the ordinary stresses of life.
5 Will there be help available?
Licensed mental health counselors from CREOKS Behavioral Health Services will be available to speak to attendees, if needed, and provide information about local resources available.