TSU’s greater effort towards helping Students with their Mental Health
Written by Bradley Clark on December 1, 2023
While the scene outside consisted of students playing loud music and fraternities spending time with one another, the scene Inside the Ollington Smith Playhouse could not have been any different.
The lights in the room were dim, and everyone inside the auditorium sat quietly; focused. Their eyes looked straight ahead as professors and mental health professionals who work on and off-campus came together to educate students on how important it is to talk about their mental health.
The meeting, organized by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, centered around the theme of bridging the generational gap in the discussion surrounding mental health.
As the students listened to speakers give their support and discuss their own struggles with mental health, some students saw that as a sign of hope.
Multimedia student journalist, Erin Slaughter, said she felt optimistic about the gap between the older generation and her generation becoming smaller after attending the meeting.
“It sent hope back that they are listening. They do hear us, and they want to help,” Slaughter said.
Counseling Center Director, Satana Simple, said she is new to Texas Southern University, and she was happy she was able to connect with students and hear what they are going through so she can help.
“We had a number of students talk and speak from just really some diverse issues that they were encountering. One of the biggest conversations we had was about generational differences and how hard it is to be able to talk to older generations; you know about mental health and what it looks like,” Simple said.
As the speakers informed students of the mental health resources available to them, SGA President Z’qualeus Haynes said he hopes students use the resources and reach out for help when they need it.
“I know I’ve been here four years, and I just registered for a counseling session and there’s been many times within my college career that I should have sought out for some assistance,” Haynes said.
When discussing his feelings on mental health as a black man, Haynes said he sees the need for TSU, the city, and the black community in general to begin taking mental health seriously.
I think that people should embrace mental health and mental health resources before they get to the point of suicide, and I don’t think that’s what we do as a black community; We go through it alone,” he said.
Haynes said he does not want other students to make the same mistake he did in the beginning.
“I would say don’t do it alone, I think that’s where I messed up at. I thought that I could do it by myself,” He said.
At the end of the meeting, everyone that came, left with the same message, “No matter what you’re going through, you are not alone.”
For anyone at TSU struggling with their mental health or simply needing someone to talk to, the student health center provides mental health and counseling services throughout the school year, and they are ready and willing to help.