An important event for mental health support
By Miguel-Ángel Orduño Contributor
A resource fair with a sole mission to educate students on various mental health issues and suicide prevention was held on Tuesday on the Speaker’s Lawn.
On-Campus Emergency Assistance Network, commonly called Project OCEAN held their sixth annual Live Your Life Day. It was a resource fair, which was held in front of the University Bookstore from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. It featured 44 booths that focused on student success, and the well being of your mind, body, and soul.
Established in 2008, the Live Your Life Day resource fair has been working hard to spread the word about mental health and health in general to the students here on campus.
“The environment we create at Project OCEAN is to always give a space to allow students to grow, and direct them toward resources,” said Nicole Morales an undergraduate peer advocate and developmental coordinator for Project OCEAN.
Morales’ herself is a product of Project OCEAN’s continuing support for students dealing with various issues.
Project OCEAN is a student resource provided by Counseling & Psychological Services, or CAPS here on campus. CAPS provides students with resources such as, emergency hotlines, caseworkers, group counseling, and outreach programs.
One of the main focuses at the resource fair was suicide prevention. There were three booths specializing in the matter. One of these was that of Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Center.
“We helped over 30,000 people throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties,” said Rick Mogil, a program director with Didi Hirsch.
The suicide prevention center has been open since 1958 and is the first one in the United States. The Didi Hirsch Center’s main office is located in Culver City. It runs a 24-hour suicide prevention crisis line in Spanish and English.
The Didi Hirsch Center is also very involved with communities across southern California doing outreach presentations. “We do a lot of presentations on suicide prevention and intervention,” said Mogil.
Live Your Life Day also featured raffles, a photo booth, and a stigma fighters active minds speakers panel, which was held in the USU ballrooms. Students were also invited to take part in stretch yoga, massage therapy, jousting, salsa dancing, and write on a chalk wall.
Project OCEAN also encouraged students to visit booths by collecting stamps on a stamp card to receive free food.
The resource fair also featured a DJ and performances from Tina Jackson, and Briana Harley.
Rick Mogil of the Didi Hirsch Center put it best when explaining what the resource fair’s main goal is by saying, “Know what’s available for you, there is so much on campus to help students.” He added, “this is a community, and these are the people who support the community, and all the services from student services are represented here.”
Project OCEAN is located in CAPS main office in Brotman Hall Room 226 open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.