On Thursday, Sept. 12 the Counseling Center organized “Project Purple,” a campus-wide event meant to raise awareness of mental illness and addiction.
“Part of raising that awareness is realizing that these are issues that affect students and prevention works, treatment works and people do recover,” said Abby Myers, a licensed psychologist at the Tech Counseling Center.
“Project Purple” was a campus-wide all day event. There was a group photo by the Campanile. The Counseling Center also handed out over 700 total purple ribbons and wristbands.
Several Tech departments and organizations were represented at “Project Purple,” including Counseling Center staff, Tech faculty, GTPD and clubs such as Wreckless and SHS Ambassadors.
“I think [Go Purple] is a great way to bring awareness that it is not a bad thing to get help if you need it and it is also a great way to get other students to support other students who do need that help,” said Jane Puntkattalee, third-year CHEM major.
“Go Purple” was one of the events of Recovery Month, which is a mental health celebration throughout September. The Counseling Center held other events, including campus-wide events, workshops, informational meetings and speeches.
“We had educational workshops every tuesday with topics like ‘I Love Someone Who Has an Addiction’ or ‘Mental Health 101’. So providing some hands-on information for students that they can apply both to themselves and people they care about,” Myers said.
Recovery Month’s largest event, “DUI: A Powerful Lesson by Mark Sterner” will take place on Sept. 24.
Recovery Month has been supported by many members of the Tech community. Earlier, President Peterson signed a proclamation officially making September “Recovery Month” at Tech.
“I think [Recovery Month] going to make people know its okay to get help when you need it and it is going to help make Tech a friendlier atmosphere,” said Alexis Brankel, a second-year HTS major.
The Counseling Center hopes Project Purple and Recovery Month as a whole will encourage students to seek help.
“I don’t measure success in terms of numbers, so just that one student has come up to me makes me very happy,” Myers said.
The most prevalent mental health problems at Tech are depression, stress, relationship problems and drug and alcohol abuse.
“The important piece is to know that depression, anxiety and stress are real illnesses. There is stress and then there is distress…There are real treatments and support in place to help students feel better and heal,” Myers said.