2017 saw the end of a major advocacy chapter for me. This past year I stepped down as the president of the ActiveMinds Club at West Valley College. This is a mental health club on campus in which I had been the president for the last three years.
I am happy to say that I left the club on a high note! I worked with the ActiveMinds’ (national organization) California chapter on their CA cohort project. The project’s main focus was so find which demographics on campus were not being served by mental health services and host an event to reach these demographics.
Though I did the research on certain demographics on campus, in the end I decided to focus on the general idea that not all people have equal access to mental health resources. When I told the other members of the cohort my plan for the event, the leader thought it was lofty. I did not agree.
I’m happy to say the event was a success! I was surprised that the event went so well since all the speakers confirmed at the last minute! The speakers talked about the lack of mental health resources among refugees fleeing the Middle East; the struggle for resources among longer income families in San Jose, CA area and the struggles that LGBTQ members encounter when it comes to health resources in general. It was an eye opening event which showed that there are MANY groups out there not getting the mental health resources that they need. It was so inspiring to be a part of this event and community. I am so happy the event was able to reach students on campus.
Being a part of this college mental health club demanded a lot of my time over the past three years which I am happy I was able to give. Now that chapter is behind me, I am excited about a new year and different advocacy opportunities.
I want to get back involved with the Arthritis Foundation, basically where my advocacy journey began. I also oversee two MeetUp groups that have to do, in a round about way, with advocacy. I want to dedicate more time to these groups and organizing events.
Goodbye 2017-it has been real. 2018: I’m ready for you!