One in four adults lives with a diagnosable mental health disorder. A club on campus has become a resource for those individuals.
National nonprofit To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) is working to change that statistic, by giving hope and finding help for those battling mental illnesses such as depression.
Rowan University adopted TWLOHA three years ago when Surbhi Pathak transferred to Rowan from Monmouth University. Since Monmouth had a chapter of their own, Pathak decided to bring the club to Rowan as well. Along with co-founder Jessica Pizzo, the pair, who have since graduated, made the club possible here at Rowan.
The mission of the organization is to create awareness for mental illnesses and to find help for those in need, working to eliminate any stigmas associated with mental illnesses.
“We try to break down stigma, we provide education to people about different mental illnesses and we kind of just exist as a safe space for people to talk about it openly,” said senior applied sociology major and club president Sarah Poole.
TWLOHA is more education-based and is not a support group. Although members talk openly about mental illnesses without judgement, if anyone needed serious help, TWLOHA would be able to provide the assistance needed to get that help.
“We talk about depression, anxiety [and] addiction,” Poole said. “It’s a relatively small group, but it’s almost better that way. We can have more intimate discussions.”
Earlier in the semester they hosted events to help relieve stress, and they’ve even brought speakers to the school for students to learn about more than just depression.
“We try to break down stigma,” – Sarah Poole
TWLOHA also co-sponsors events with other clubs. They’ve teamed up with Delta Phi Epsilon to create awareness for different eating disorders by posting sticky notes with positive messages around campus.
This coming spring, TWLOHA plans to host a big event with Phi Kappa Psi for depression awareness, featuring mental health speaker Andrew Bergman.
As of right now, TWLOHA doesn’t have a specific date and time set up for the event, but it will be in early spring and everyone is encouraged to attend. If it is successful it will become an annual event.
TWLOHA hosts bi-weekly meetings that are open to both members and interested students. To find out when and where meetings are held, check their Facebook page.
For comments/questions about this story, email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @TheWhitOnline.