The Chapman community is coming together this Wednesday, March 7 to host the Mental Health Awareness Fair. Sponsored by the Attallah College of Educational Studies and Student Government Association, the fair in Attallah Piazza will provide information, resources, and strategies for coping and improving overall health and wellness.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), nearly 1 in 5 adults in America live with anxiety disorders, and 75% of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 24.

Mental Health Awareness Fair flyer“With these startling statistics, it is crucial that we not only develop ways to support individuals with mental health concerns but that we focus on strategies to help them lead happy, healthy, and meaningful adult lives, ultimately attaining ‘Mental WELLth,’” says Dr. Amy Jane Griffiths, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Assistant Professor of Clinical Counseling.

The fair organizers hope to set up a fun, invigorating space for people to connect and create a sense of community. Music will be provided by SoundCheck and Chapman Radio, and opportunity prizes include an Amazon Echo, gift cards, Bluetooth headphones, and more.

“We believe people should be empowered to talk about mental health. There are so many resources available—community organizations, counseling, and even phone apps,” says Brittney Pacini (MA in Counseling), who is leading the student effort to plan the upcoming fair. “We want to show people that mental health and personal struggles are not something to be afraid of, but something that can be triumphed and managed. It’s okay to talk about it.”

Dr. Griffiths agrees, “It’s important Chapman students know that we are care about their mental health and well-being, that we are open to talking about it. we want to create a safe space where people can make connections and get the support they need.”

The fair will have tables on coping skills (stress reduction techniques, yoga, mindfulness, etc.) as well as various disorders/mental health concerns (grief/loss, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, etc.).

“I’m excited so many Chapman organizations (school counselors, school psychologists, student body government, and marriage and family therapists) and outside organizations are coming together to provide education and activities on Wednesday. Together we can break the stigma,” says Pacini.