Of the numerous problems, students face daily, the issue of maintaining a fair sense of mental health is among the most important.
In a recent study on the mental health of America’s youth by Mental Health America, 15.08% of those ages 12-17 report suffering from at least one major depressive episode in the past year, with 10.6% reporting coping with coping severe major depression.
With finals here, the topic of student mental health has gained a renewed focus, and Fullerton College has been working to address mental health issues by raising awareness of health services for students.
One way that Fullerton College’s student health services have addressed the issue is through the implementation of a simple and effective means.
Students who have been on-campus recently might be familiar with the appearance of fliers titled RAD, short for Radical Care posted on the bathroom walls.
The fliers are a part of a new way of getting the word out about the availability of mental health services for students, listing services provided by both the community and the government.
The idea to put up the fliers is the work of Dana Timmermans, the director of behavioral health services at Fullerton College.
Timmermans said that the idea for the fliers came about after attending a conference that focused specifically on school life in a post-pandemic environment.
Recalling the conference, Timmermans said the two statements that stood out to him were that “nobody is coming out unscathed from this pandemic,” and “we need to give students ‘radical’ care.”
Not being given a concrete definition of what “radical” care entails, Timmermans instead thought about what it was he and the school was not doing at the time.
This led him to recall his experience in the military and the program that was in place to manage mental health issues.
“In the military, everyone was required to carry an ACE card, with ACE meaning asking your buddy if they need help, caring enough to take away their weapon, and escorting them to somebody who could help them,” said Timmermans.
Taking this experience into account, Timmerman created something similar in the form of Radical Care and started spreading the word through business cards – with the idea of putting up fliers popping up shortly after that.
The fliers have done their job, as there have been two recent cases of students calling student health services upon seeing the fliers.
“It’s a small success, but I’m excited about it,” said Timmermans about the new outreach program.
Among the services listed in the Radical Care fliers, students can also find additional resources for mental health through other various outlets, which can be found on the Radical Care resources page.