Wellness in Words gives students room for self-expression

LMC brings attention to mental health through a new workshop.

Joseph Giddings, Staff Writer

In a stress-filled time of midterms and projects, the Student Life and Student Equity departments at Los Medanos College have shifted their focus towards the mental health of their students. This includes new events added to this year’s calendar such as Art with Impact’s Wellness in Words: Poetry and Film event. 

Students throughout the Contra Costa Community College District were invited to partake in a free virtual Wellness in Words event Tuesday, March 22. At this event hosted by the Art with Impact organization, students were able to have safe and supportive conversations regarding their experiences with their own mental health through the power of poetry and film as a means of uniting and empowering those within our community.   

“When you’re a young person, it’s quite easy to think that you’re the only one going through that [problem],” said the workshop facilitator and member of Art with Impact, who was identified only as Chris in this Zoom meeting. 

Throughout the two-hour workshop, students were challenged to express themselves through their own works of poetry in response to the prompts provided to them, with topics ranging from “Reaching the Unreachable” to “A Love Letter to a Younger You.” In addition, students were shown two short films titled “Parallel” and “Little Elizabeth,” raising attention to the issues and harm caused by depression, as well as mental illness and childhood trauma, and how a person may receive help and guidance regarding these issues. 

In the event chatbox, students were given the opportunity to express their own feelings towards the films and prompts as well as the issues portrayed within them and how they have affected their lives. 

“I thought the film really touched on emotions that I’ve felt before,” said an anonymous event attendee. 

As the event progressed, the questions and comments raised by students in the chat began to go deeper and deeper, commenting on complex issues and struggles that many of us face in our own ways as we go about our days, with statements such as, “Why are we here? Is [there] any purpose?” and “Sometimes I lose hope when I see the news.” 

“Sometimes it takes some students longer than others, and that’s okay,” said Carrie Bennet, Veterans and Disability Services counselor at LMC, when discussing the topic of self-discovery and potential. 

“I feel that we’re taught to kind of doubt ourselves, and that can be really hard,” said Chris. “We are who we connect with in life. We are our community.” 

Those on campus struggling with issues relating to mental health or any issue within their lives should take time to remember that our traumas do not define them and that growth can be achieved through forgiveness. Although individuals may feel alone at times, help will always be provided to those in need within the LMC community. 

If you need support for any mental health issues, LMC offers designated mental health support, wellness counseling and counseling resources.