This Monday marked the beginning of Silver Week at Boston College, which is dedicated to promoting mental health on campus. Just as pink is the designated color for breast cancer awareness, silver is the designated color for mental health awareness. Throughout the week, Boston College students will be able to attend various events hosted by the Asian Caucus Cabinet.
Silver Week at Boston College found its roots when the Asian Caucus Cabinet (AC), which consists of the presidents of the eight Asian culture clubs and its own president, were looking for a proactive initiative to support on campus. After speaking with University Counseling Services, the group found that Asians and Asian Americans are the least likely to report any signs of mental health issues.
Naturally, this finding led the Cabinet to ask questions. Mental health awareness is universal, and there is no culture club that is not affected by it. Why, then, does it appear that Asian Americans are so unwilling to come forward with their problems?
Consequently, AC wanted to spark a discussion amongst Asian students on campus to help them become aware of their own mental health and how they might be able to seek help through BC resources.
Under AC President Thinh Nguyen, the Cabinet has acted to expand Silver Week into a campus-wide initiative. To accomplish this goal, AC is holding events throughout the week to promote mental health awareness in the BC community.
The first event, held on Monday at O’Neill Plaza, involved a proxy station where students were encouraged to post stickers on an interactive poster board, answering questions such as, “Do you feel the need to be perfect all the time?” and “Do you feel alone at BC?” This poster board dialogue aimed to provoke reflection in participants about their own mental well-being without being invasive.
The second event, to be held Tuesday evening in Fulton Hall, will be a showing of the movie Taare Zameen Par, which tells the story of a dyslexic individual and how he is treated in a different culture. After the movie, there will be a question and answer session to discuss how viewers felt while watching the film.
The third event, to be held Wednesday evening in Gabelli Hall, will be a tea and meditation workshop, where BC students will be exposed to aspects of Asian culture that can help them de-stress.
The fourth event, called “Opening the Cabinet,” will be held Thursday evening in Higgins Hall. At this event, the members of AC will open themselves up to Boston College as leaders by sharing experiences regarding mental health. Afterwards, University Counseling Services will speak about how mental health affects the entire Boston College community and use the platform to share with students the resources that they have available to get help.
“We want to make mental health awareness more mainstream because it does affect everyone. There is no culture club that isn’t affected by it,” said AC President Thinh Nguyen. “Suicide is the third highest cause of death amongst young adults. Whatever it takes to help prevent that, we are going to do our best to do it.”
Featured image via Thinh Nguyen/Facebook.